Changes in Cong. in the offing

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has tasked a three-member panel to select the next head of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Kerala. The person selected thus will be the next Leader of the Opposition.

Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, will head the panel. AICC general secretaries M.A. Vaidyalingam and Tariq Anwar will assist him.

The AICC team will arrive in the State post lockdown. The panel will meet elected legislators individually and seek their opinion. The AICC observers will send their recommendation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi who will take the final call.

The ‘I’ group headed by Ramesh Chennithala dominates the CLP. Mr. Chennithala could continue in the post if he chose so.

However, he might face the pressure of precedence. Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had quit as CLP leader after the UDF lost in the 2016 elections. There is a chance Mr. Chennithala might opt-out and take up an AICC-level responsibility.

In such an eventuality, the ‘I’ group might plumb for V.D. Satheeshan. The four-time legislator from Paravur had emerged as a strong counter to the LDF in the previous Assembly.

The ‘A’ group, which is arguably in the minority in the CLP, might project Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan for the Opposition leadership. However, the faction has reportedly not staked any claim overtly.

The AICC wanted a generational shift in KPCC leadership. It could also contemplate replacing Mullappally Ramachandran as KPCC president. If so, the processes would be separate to prevent a trade-off between the groups. The imperative to accommodate all social groups would also have a bearing on the decision.

By some accounts, K. Sudhakaran and K. Muraleedharan were front runners for the KPCC post. However, the AICC always could impose a dark horse from New Delhi, a party person said.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 5:42:57 PM |

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