Meeting significant in the light of recent bids to sort out factionalism in Congress
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will hear party leader V.M. Sudheeran’s views on strengthening the party apparatus, an exercise which the former had initiated soon on assumption of office.
Mr. Sudheeran told The Hindu from Delhi that Mr. Gandhi had given him an appointment for 3.45 p.m. on Thursday. He said he had sought an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was hopeful of meeting her too.
It is almost a year since Mr. Sudheeran has made a trip to Delhi. His visit this time has acquired significance as it is in the backdrop of the party leadership’s attempts to sort out factional issues in the party in Kerala and the recent meetings Mr. Gandhi held with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala.
However, party sources do not expect any major outcome from the meeting, but sources close to Mr. Sudheeran are of the view that his opinions would be inputs for the party leadership ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Mr. Sudheeran has been an articulate leader, expressing his reservations on several issues, even criticising the stances of the State government and the Congress party leadership. He has strongly opposed the State government’s moves to implement the Aranmula airport project and the Athirappilly hydroelectric project, to mention a few.
He is also a harsh critic of factionalism in the State. Mr. Gandhi’s meeting with Mr. Sudheeran should be viewed in the backdrop of the independent line he has been toeing in Kerala politics.
Mr. Sudheeran also had to undergo a period of hospitalisation, which curtailed his political activity for some months.