Congress leader and former State Planning Board member Peelipose Thomas has resigned from the primary membership of the Congress, alleging that he has been sidelined in the party by certain powerful quarters who, according to him, enjoy extra-constitutional powers in the Congress.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Mr. Thomas said he had been literally smoked out by these quarters who had considerable influence on the party Central leadership. Mr. Thomas said he had been an active member of the Congress since 1964 and was Pathanamthitta District Congress Committee (DCC) president for 11 years from 1991. He has been a member of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) since 1991.

Mr. Thomas alleged that he had been sidelined when the 118-member KPCC executive committee was constituted recently. “Though my name was there in the list submitted by the KPCC, I was among four party workers who were excluded from it,” Mr Thomas said.

“With a broken heart, I have decided to quit the Congress and work with the Left for the remaining part of my political life,” he said.

Mr. Thomas said he had already given his consent to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) district leadership for contesting as LDF candidate from the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency.

More In: Kerala | National