Chief Minister, KPCC president to visit New Delhi this week

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala’s visit to New Delhi this week has given rise to hopes that they would be able to wrap up the much-awaited reconstitution of the KPCC executive committee and District Congress Committee (DCC) office-bearers.

Mr. Chandy will take the flight to Delhi early Sunday, while Mr. Chennithala will leave on Monday evening. Mr. Chandy will join the election campaign for the Delhi Assembly on Sunday. He will return home on Monday to attend a few functions in the State capital and in Kottayam before taking the late evening flight to Delhi. The two leaders are in Delhi for the periodic evaluation of their functioning, a process instituted by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi under his unit management system. The meeting with Mr. Gandhi is scheduled on December 3. They are expected to hold discussions with Mr. Gandhi on various issues related to Kerala, but it is not clear whether the reconstitution of the KPCC executive would come up for review.

The list of nominees for the KPCC executive committee has been shuttling between Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram for quite some time now, with the All India Congress Committee not exactly sure about the size of the panel. The list has been now resubmitted after discussions that Mr. Chennithala and Mr. Chandy had with senior party leaders such as V.M. Sudheeran, C.V. Padmarajan, and Thennala Balakrishna Pillai. The State leadership hopes to use the “all-accommodative list” to settle factional tussles ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Costly option

According to party sources, any further delay in the reconstitution of the executive committee will prove to be costly, given the current factional ties.

The State leaders here believe that they have completed their task of preparing the list of nominees and it is the responsibility of the high command to announce it in due course. Any further delay would only set the stage for setting up an ad hoc committee till the general elections are over, they feel. But given the short duration of their respective stay in Delhi, it is doubtful whether the revamp announcement would materialise, sources said.

In the meantime, the KPCC has decided to bring the party’s mandalam committees under the purview of the unit management system from December.

All mandalam presidents will be evaluated for their functioning under this system. According to KPCC general secretary Sajeev Joseph, who is in charge of the unit management system, the decision to bring the lower levels of the party committees under the purview of the system was taken on the basis of the success achieved in assessing the work of the KPCC office-bearers. The party has so far evaluated the performances of 280 block presidents and 270 district level office-bearers for the month of October. The first evaluation report has termed the performance of 107 block presidents and 102 district-level office-bearers unsatisfactory.

The evaluation report said 58 block presidents and 72 district-level office-bearers had put up an average performance, while 115 block presidents and 96 district level office-bearers had reported excellent grades.

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