Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) will crack the whip on party workers who played truant and shrunk away from organisational responsibilities during the 2021 Assembly election campaign for reasons ranging from factionalism and favouritism to localism.
KPCC president K. Sudhakaran, MP, said the disciplinary action was based on the reports filed by various committees that identified the structural failures that led to the party’s crushing defeat at the hustings.
The KPCC had identified 97 leaders for corrective action. More would follow. A party insider said that, for instance, in Thiruvananthapuram, Congress would hold to account persons responsible for diverting the expensive multi-colour posters printed for candidates to waste paper dealers. Similar incidents left the party red-faced during the electioneering and provided ammunition to the political opposition.
Moreover, the party felt that its candidates, especially women, lacked organisational support and were left to fend for themselves largely.
In contrast, the LDF had mobilised Kudumbashree and Asha workers and other neighbourhood women self-help groups to knock on doors and get out the vote for ruling front candidates.
The KPCC was also reportedly verifying suspected diversion of election funds. Fund crunch had seriously hobbled the Congress campaign. In contrast, the LDF and NDA were flush with election funds.
The KPCC had also spotlighted at least 58 incidents that lowered the stature of the Congress in public, including instances of infighting spilling into the open and verbal duel between leaders.
The KPCC also took cognisance of the RSP’s complaint that the UDF’s election machinery had failed in Chavara, resulting in Shibu Baby John’s defeat.
It has constituted a committee comprising K. Mohankumar, K.P. Dhanapalan, and P.J. Joy, all former MLAs, to look into the causes for defeat in Chavara, Kunnathur, Idukki, Azhikode, Kayamkulam, Adoor, Peerumedu, Thrissur, and Balussery constituencies.
The KPCC has also banned rank and file from forming organisations, particular factions, or social media groups independent of the party without the leadership’s prior consent. They also could not use Congress iconography on posters without sanction.