Kerala

Internal rumblings in Cong. get louder

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran addressing a press conference in Kozhikode on May 11, 2019.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The knives seem to be out for Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran.

The embattled leader is facing calls for resignation in the wake of the party's defeat in the Assembly polls. The Congress is reportedly caught up in a power struggle post-defeat. The political suddenly seems to be personal in the party.

Illustratively, Hibi Eden, MP, has said the party did not need a "sleeping president". Mr. Ramachandran has been trolled widely in pro-Congress social media groups. The blame game arguably threatens to pit three dominant figures against one another namely Mr. Ramachandran, Mr. Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

A senior leader said the political affairs committee (PAC) meeting scheduled for May 7 was unlikely to be a tame affair. Prominent Congress leaders and coalition partners have demanded a "recast" of leadership ahead of the PAC. Their public statements appeared to signal the volatility of the situation.

Some have suggested that Mr. Ramachandran take his cue from Assam Congress president Ripun Bora who resigned, taking responsibility for the party's poor showing in his State.

RSP leader Shibu Baby John and IUML veteran P.K. Abdul Rabb have signalled that the current disposition would not help the Congress meet future challenges. Nevertheless, Mr. Ramachandran reportedly has substantial reserves of support in the Congress.

A party insider claimed the president had informed the AICC that he would abide by the national leadership's decision. The AICC had appointed him. Mr. Ramachandran reportedly did not want to put the party in a spot by resigning without warning.

DCC president in Alappuzha M. Liju had pursued such a course.

Moreover, West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, grappling with a similar poll debacle, was also awaiting the AICC's decision.

Several leaders, including K. Muraleedharan, MP, had spoken out against scapegoating any one leader for the defeat. He suggested a practical way forward. Mr. Ramachandran's supporters said he had always kept Mr. Chandy and Mr. Chennithala in the loop.

A 10-member committee, including the president, had spearheaded the election campaign. “It is a collective failure of the party. And not that of an individual leader or particular faction,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 9:36:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/internal-rumblings-in-cong-get-louder/article34491607.ece

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