Kerala

Fresh row as KPCC to move against Chandy, Chennithala

Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala.  

The factional feuding in the Congress party seemed to be inching towards a turning point. The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has reportedly moved against senior leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala for allegedly bringing intra-party disputes into the United Democratic Front (UDF) fold.

The leaders of the well-embedded A and I groups had arguably generated “politically disadvantageous” headlines by “staying away” from the UDF conclave on Monday.

The KPCC reportedly believed that Mr. Chandy and Mr. Chennithala had used the UDF as a platform to project their protest against the incumbent leadership. It supposedly planned to petition the All India Congress Committee (AICC) against their conduct.

Any action on the part of the AICC would signal a fall from grace for the veterans. A party insider said that a public censure was unlikely given the stature of the leaders. But even a personal reproach would be a watershed moment for them. It could relegate the influential group leaders to the status of embittered troublemakers.

Notably, Mr. Chandy’s complaint that KPCC president K. Sudhakaran and Leader of the Opposition V. D. Satheesan had installed their candidates in key party positions ahead of the organisational polls had reportedly received a chilly reception from the Congress high command.

The factions were also “resentful” that the KPCC leadership had “halted the membership drive to stack the decks in its favour” in the party polls in April 2021.

Restructuring process

However, the AICC had indicated that it would push ahead with the restructuring process in States despite the protests of local leaders. The AICC appeared to confront the unenviable task of reconciling the opposing groups.

The high command reportedly feared that the factional feud could get deeply personal if left unresolved and play out damagingly for the party in public.

The A and I factions reportedly felt they were locked in an existential battle to preserve their organisational relevance. The groups wanted a decisive intervention from the AICC to resolve their resentments. Any skin-deep attempt to broker peace might cut no ice with them, an insider said.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 8:04:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-pradesh-congress-committee-moves-against-senior-leaders-oommen-chandy-and-ramesh-chennithala/article37775165.ece

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