Senior Congress leader V. M. Sudheeran assumed charge as Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president on Tuesday, promising to cut a new path that would bring back moral values to politics in the State, besides strengthening the party and the UDF. Congress MLA, V. D. Satheesan also assumed charge as KPCC vice-president.

Mr. Sudheeran made his plan of action clear in as many words in his speech soon after assuming charge and at the subsequent press conference. He made it clear that he would not change his views on various issues he had raised in the past, but promised to convene party committees to provide a forum for leaders to express their views on the government’s policies and projects and strive to bring a consensus on issues. Placing his views in proper perspective, Mr. Sudheeran emphasised the need to recapture moral values in politics at a time when there has been considerable degeneration in values upheld by political parties, including the Congress and the Communists.

In reply to questions, Mr. Sudheeran, who was accompanied by Mr. Chennithala and the new vice-president V. D. Satheesan said he had opposed the UDF government’s decisions on some projects in a positive way highlighting popular sentiments. “I firmly believe that such interventions have proved to be beneficial to the party,” he said.

Special convention

Mr. Sudheeran said the KPCC’s special convention will be held in Kochi on February 15. The convention, to be inaugurated by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, will mark the official launch of the party’s Lok Sabha election campaign. He said he would soon take steps to convene the party executive and the party-government coordination committee. He would soon join the ongoing seat sharing talks with UDF partners and work as a team that would help the coalition put up a better performance in the general elections.

Address the press conference, the outgoing KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said Mr. Sudheeran was beginning his innings at very crucial juncture just when the elections were around the corner. He listed the challenges ahead for the new incumbent and promised to reciprocate by giving full support to his endeavours to strengthen the party.

In his speech after assuming charge, Mr. Sudheeran said he would strive to keep the Congress party on the side of the people. Stating that the conservation of Western Ghats and protection of the environment was as important as the lives of the people living in the High Ranges, Mr. Sudheeran urged party leaders and workers to get involved in local issues. Alternative forces were able to make a breakthrough because mainstream parties were reluctant to intervene in such issues, he said. He said that it was natural for party leaders to have divergent perceptions, but once a decision is taken, then everyone should stick to it. He said even though he had been functioning independently without much official responsibilities, he had made it a point to function within the party framework. His stand was issue-based and never personal, he said.