After speculations lasting for over a year, the reconstitution of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) appears to be round the corner, especially in the context of the impending shuffle at the All India Congress Committee (ALCC) level following the latest reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, along with United Democratic Front convener P.P. Thankachan, are scheduled to be in New Delhi from November 7 to 9, giving considerable hope to all those who have been warming the benches at various levels of the party apparatus. The party leadership has already decided to implement the one man, one post norm, with Mr. Chennithala being given an exemption. The revamp process would focus on installation of District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents and office-bearers of the KPCC. Many of the districts have ad hoc arrangements, with hardly any party work being undertaken.
The KPCC would require a new set of office-bearers since quite a few of them have been elected as members of either Parliament or the Assembly. Over and above, the party leadership would have to consider the claims of youngsters who have been waiting for a break after doing their bit in the Youth Congress.
With the induction of two Ministers in the Union Council of Ministers, the pressure of the Congress leadership, which has been grappling with the communal equation problem, appears to have eased a bit. There is a general understanding that the various posts of DCC presidents and KPCC office-bearers would be shared by the two prominent factions led by Mr. Chennithala and Mr. Chandy. It is possible that there would some last-minute disputes over some of the posts, particularly the Kannur DCC.
Almost all senior leaders speak about the urgency to carry out the revamp, since hardly any serious political discussions are held owing to the absence of committees. “Political work has come to a virtual standstill at the grass-roots level,” a senior leader lamented.
There have been several occasions when the Congress has not been able to formulate its views on various issues, as a result of which it has had to concede space to coalition partners. With news reports about Rahul Gandhi likely to play a more active role in the reconstitution of the AICC, leaders expect a break for youngsters this time. The outcome of the reconstitution of the KPCC would also indicate the power equations of the two factions.
Keywords: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee revamp