Special Correspondent

Party completes first round of evaluation of poll debacle

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress leadership has completed the first round of the evaluation of the defeat of the party and the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the Assembly elections.

The second round will be held when the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) executive meets on Thursday on the strength of the feedback received from the general body meetings of the district congress committees and the block committees. The meeting will be a rather extended affair.

The KPCC had appointed a committee to examine the reasons for the defeat, suggest measures to revive the party's fortunes and hear complaints related to the elections. The committee, headed by the former Planning Board Vice-Chairman C.V. Padmarajan, has held only one sitting.

The district general body meetings were tumultuous, according to information available, with the party leadership coming under fire for a variety of reasons, including the failure to field the right candidates in various constituencies. The alliance with the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) has come under fire, with a majority of the workers terming the snap alliance a flop.

The district general body meetings have prepared a draft on the defeat of the Congress and the UDF, and this will be discussed at the lower levels of the party. The meetings will help evolve a strategy, according to sources. However, some of the senior leaders feel that the current exercise, in which more than 500 people participate, will not bring in a meaningful and rational assessment of the party's performance and the future strategies to be adopted.

Mr. Padmarajan said his committee would meet on Wednesday or Thursday. He said he had received a number of complaints from party workers relating to the elections. Complaints against KPCC general secretaries had been referred to the KPCC president for his comments, he added.

Rajya Sabha elections

The KPCC election committee will meet in the forenoon of Wednesday to finalise its candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat, one of the three the UDF hopes to win given the composition of the Assembly.