Former Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha and veteran Congress leader PJ Kurien on Saturday expressed anguish at the widespread speculation in the media circles and in the social media that he is all set to join the BJP, which he has dismissed as rubbish and baseless.

“When I was the deputy chairperson, the present government had given me huge offers. At the moment, I will not reveal it. It pains me a lot of the recent developments of the baseless news that I am joining the BJP. I will say such reports are baseless and rubbish,” said a peeved Kurien to the media in Pathanamthitta.

One reason for the speculation is that the BJP is yet to announce the name of its candidate for the Pathanamthitta constituency, which incidentally is Kurien’s home turf. The BJP is contesting 14 out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala.

Kurien, whose term in the Rajya Sabha ended last year, was hoping for a fresh term. But he got a shocker when Congress leaders in Kerala led by Oommen Chandy gave the seat to KM Mani’s party, the Kerala Congress (M).

Since then Kurien has been cut off from most of the state Congress leaders.

Kurien, who on March 31 turns 78, has been a Lok Sabha member from 1980 to 1999 and then was in the Upper House from 2005 till last year.

“I really wish that those who are behind this smear campaign against me are exposed,” added Kurien.

Since his retirement from the Rajya Sabha, Kurien spends all his time at his residence.