Talks on Cabinet reshuffle only after Lok Sabha elections

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday directed Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala to bury their differences and work together to ensure the party’s success in the Lok Sabha elections.

At a joint review meeting he convened in Delhi, Mr. Gandhi asked the two leaders to let bygones be bygones and send appropriate messages to the rank and file by projecting a united face.

The meeting, attended by Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the All India Congress Committee general secretaries Mukul Wasnik (in charge of Kerala) and Janardhan Dwivedi, decided to put on hold discussions on a Cabinet reshuffle till the Lok Sabha elections.

But the executive committee of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) will be reconstituted, along with the appointments of office-bearers of the district Congress committees (DCCs) and revamp of the Mandalam committees, wherever necessary. The booth committees will also be reconstituted.

Sources said Mr. Gandhi expressed satisfaction over the manner in which the unit management system set up to assess the performance of the KPCC and the DCCs was performing.

The KPCC president has been asked to hold one-on-one review meetings with each office-bearer and sort out any shortcomings in their performance.

The meeting evaluated the political situation in Kerala, and termed the Left Democratic Front’s Secretariat siege a massive failure.

The meeting said the sudden and abrupt decision to halt the siege had created dissatisfaction and dejection among the party cadres.

Mr. Chennithala, reacting to questions by presspersons, said the siege was a tactical failure. “There is no point in making tall claims after missing the bus. It is clear as daylight that the stir was a tactical failure. The decision to halt the stir abruptly has made the party rank and file despondent,” he said.

The KPCC president confirmed Ms. Gandhi’s programmes in the State on September 7 and 8. She will attend the inauguration of a building of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Development Studies and the unveiling of the statue of the Congress legend R. Sankar.

She is scheduled to attend three other government functions, including the launch of the Zero Landless programme of the Revenue Department.

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