MLA V.D.Satheesan chosen as KPCC vice-president
Senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran has been appointed Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, in what appears to be a game-changer of sorts for the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Another major development is the appointment of MLA and AICC secretary V.D. Satheesan as the vice-president.
Mr. Sudheeran will assume office at the Indira Bhavan, the KPCC headquarters, at 11.45 a.m. on Tuesday.
The appointments were announced in New Delhi on Monday morning, setting at rest protracted speculations, but the move amounted to rejecting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and incumbent KPCC president and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala’s nominee.
Mr. Sudheeran comes in as a replacement for Mr. Chennithala, who was inducted into the Chandy Cabinet a month ago, but the process brings him back to mainstream political activity after a long gap during which period he functioned as a corrective force in the party.
Mr. Sudheeran’s nomination was reportedly opposed by Mr. Chandy because of his confrontationist approach towards his government on several live issues. Mr. Chandy and Mr. Chennithala had proposed Speaker G. Karthikeyan for the post.
However, the party high command, facing a credibility crisis on the issue of corruption and struggling to overcome the wave created by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, chose Mr. Sudheeran for his clean image.
Mr. Sudheeran might have a number of detractors in the party, but the high command hopes to leverage his wider acceptability in civil society during the Lok Sabha elections due in a couple of months.
The immediate challenge before Mr. Sudheeran is to make the appropriate intervention in preparing a credible list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections and get the maximum number elected, besides leading the election campaign from the front. Mr. Sudheeran’s appointment is also expected to be an antidote to the growing factionalism that had acquired a sharp edge in recent months, given the fact that he had been a strong opponent of factional politics.