Will the reconstitution of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and the District Congress Committees (DCCs) take place in the near future? This is the main topic of discussion among Congress leaders and workers in the State with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and United Democratic Front (UDF) convener P.P. Thankachan heading for New Delhi.
Mr. Chandy and Mr. Thankachan have already reached the national capital, while Mr. Chennithala is expected to reach there on Friday morning. The Chief Minister’s main agenda is to pursue a few administrative issues, particularly to put pressure on the Central leaders for a final decision on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s participation in the Kochi Metro Rail project. But a political session on the revamp is on the cards owing to the presence of the two other leaders. The possibility of a final wrap up is also dependent on the availability of Central leaders in view of the ongoing Parliament session.
The revamp proposals are over a year old. The last time serious discussions took place was in October 2011, but the revamp did not materialise owing to differences in the numbers that the two factions were supposed to share. In the meantime, the political situation underwent a change with the death of Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader T.M. Jacob, forcing a by-election in Piravom constituency in February. This was followed by the controversy over the inclusion of the Indian Union Muslim League’s fifth Minister in the Chandy Cabinet. Then followed the Neyyatinkara by-election in June.
It is perhaps the fifth Minister controversy that changed equations in the Congress, with the Chennithala faction asserting itself in the face of the Chief Minister’s vulnerability over the question of representation of the minority communities in his Cabinet.
Several attempts had been made in the last several months to get the reconstitution process done, but the two factions were not able to arrive at an agreement on sharing of the posts of DCC president, with Kannur emerging as the main point of dispute. Party sources said that the post of DCC president would be conceded to the Chennithala faction, a nominee of K. Sudhakaran, MP, might be accommodated. In the process, the Chennithala faction would have to concede the Thrissur DCC president’s post.
It is also not clear whether the leaders would get sufficient time to discuss the revamp process with Central leaders. They could perhaps return with the satisfaction of having resumed the process which had fallen by the wayside in the face of emerging factionalism.
Sources said the 14 District Congress Committees would be shared equally by the two factions. The number of KPCC office-bearers would also be reduced to form a well-knit group, sources said.