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Congress and Left Approached Me to Contest 2019 Polls, Gave Choice of 4 Seats: Justice Kurian Joseph

Justice Joseph, who retired in November, said he told the parties in “unmistakable” term that he has no interest in contesting elections for now.

M Unnikrishnan | News18

Updated:February 7, 2019, 7:03 PM IST
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Congress and Left Approached Me to Contest 2019 Polls, Gave Choice of 4 Seats: Justice Kurian Joseph
File photo of Justice Kurian Joseph. (PTI)

New Delhi: Dismissing all rumours of a political entry before the general elections, former Supreme Court Justice Kurian Joseph told News18 in an exclusive interview that he has no interest in contesting elections from his home state of Kerala for now.

Justice Joseph revealed that he had been approached by both CPI(M)-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF for a ticket after his retirement last November, but said he told them in “unmistakable” terms that he was not throwing his hat into the electoral fray.

Political party camps across Kerala were speculating about his entry for the last couple of months. As a judge with a clean image who had fought for transparency in judiciary, both the fronts expected he could help them gain people's support. Their calculation was also that such personalities can give a good fight to the BJP with their “secular credentials”.

"Many people from both sides were asking whether I am interested in (contesting from) Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Chalakudy etc. But I told them it’s not a question of constituency but a question of my interest,” he told News18.

Justice Joseph, who was one of the four judges who had taken part in the unprecedented press conferences with three other judges of the SC last year, said he told both Congress and Left that he was not interested in contesting any elections in Kerala. “And I will not be contesting the forthcoming elections,” he said.

Soon after his retirement too, the former judge had told News18 that he had no plan of joining politics, but that did not stop all the rumours. “As of now that stand still continues,” he said, referring to his earlier statement.

When asked why he was attracted interest from political parties, he said perhaps it was because people loved him. “People loved my stand is the reason they are considering me. People appreciated it… that could be the reason."

After the unprecedented press conference, his interventions were keenly watched in Kerala as he was the sole judge from the state who had taken such a bold step. He had also won praise for his efforts to raise funds after the floods devastated the state in August last year.

He coordinated with advocates from Supreme Court and Delhi High Court to collect relief materials and despatched it to Kerala, and also sang "we shall overcome" seeking public support for the state at a fund raising event in Delhi.

After his retirement, Justice Joseph, however, has decided to stay back in Delhi and has been actively engaged in the legal field. "I am concentrating on my own filed - arbitration, mediation, conciliation and legal opinion."

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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