Analysis | An uphill task awaits Kerala’s Congress leader K. Sudhakaran in reconstituting KPCC and DCCs

KPCC president K. Sudhakaran   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

In his public spat with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over Kannur Brennen College campus fights of the 1960s, newly appointed Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K. Sudhakaran may have earned some political brownie points with at least a section of the Congress workers in the State.

But the formidable challenger in Mr. Sudhakaran faces tougher hurdles ahead in revamping the Congress party. Though he says that both former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala support him, in reality, the ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups still dominate the Congress party at all levels.

Sources said that the political affairs committee of the Congress party would meet on Wednesday to work out a criteria for appointing office-bearers of the KPCC and District Congress Committees (DCCs). A general consensus among the leaders had already been reached to do away with the policy of ‘one man, one post.’

New roles

The KPCC president himself is an MP representing Kannur, while the three KPCC working presidents — Kodikunnil Suresh (MP), P. T. Thomas (MLA) and T. Siddique (MLA) — are also elected representatives. However none of the elected representatives would be made DCC presidents. Besides, existing KPCC office-bearers will be tasked with new roles to galvanise the rank and file of the party at the district levels, the sources said.

“The party has decided to put an end to jumbo committees that earlier gave space only to balance the group equation and also to satisfy some leaders disillusioned with the party,” a senior functionary told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Apart from breaking the Oommen Chandy-Ramesh Chennithala binary, Mr. Sudhakaran will also have to take into confidence the likes of women leaders such as Shanimol Usman and Bindu Krishna.

Cult following

Mr. Sudhakaran, with a cult following in north Malabar, has secured the Central leadership to exercise a dominating influence to put the party on the tracks. However, it remains to be seen whether his political street-fighting abilities would attract the party cadre in central and southern districts.

Some episodes also demonstrate Mr. Sudhakaran's belligerent posture at times. As KPCC working president, Mr. Sudhakaran not only remained defiant but also justified the alleged unsavoury comment on Mr. Vijayan's family background. Then Mr. Chennithala was forced to make a U-turn after he disowned Mr. Sudhakaran over the controversy.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 10:00:29 PM |

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