Kerala

News Analysis | Congress rejig in Kerala alters group equations

The trio led by KPCC president K. Sudhakaran, Opposition Leader in the Assembly V.D. Satheesan and AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal had already set the agenda for the reorganisation even as it stoutly faced the emerging factional politics for overlooking the group lieutenants. File.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The reconstitution of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has apparently redefined the group equations in the Congress in the State.

Those who had earlier owed allegiance to the ‘I’ and ‘A’ factions, led by former Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy respectively, are now reportedly shifting their loyalties to the new dispensation.

Predictably, the replacement of new the District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents in August laid the contours for realpolitik of the party leaders. The trio led by KPCC president K. Sudhakaran, Opposition Leader in the Assembly V.D. Satheesan and AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal had then already set the agenda for the reorganisation even as it stoutly faced the emerging factional politics for overlooking the group lieutenants.

Thus, the new leadership is beginning to understand that power politics is swiftly making a sea-change with the realist and firm approach of the Central leadership. Also, the successors of the earlier triumvirate of Chandy, Chennithala and former KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran have toppled the existing factional equilibrium.

Incidentally, former KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran, who resigned from the AICC and political affairs committee (PAC) of the KPCC, has been completely overlooked when the new team was chosen.

The delay in releasing the list the 56-member KPCC after marathon discussions, uncertainties and disputes also revealed that the central leadership had at least given a thought to the Chandy-Chennithala binary, although it had failed to take off in the Assembly polls.

At the same time, several leaders in the list are close to Mr. Venugopal, who had, along with the Thiruthalvadikal (revisionists) leaders, challenged his own political mentor K. Karunakaran for projecting his son K. Muraleedharan in the Congress.

Of the 23 new general secretaries, sources said that the majority often wore their heart for group politics on their sleeves. But now they would have to think twice before claiming that they were endorsed for their group fidelity.

Surprisingly, K. Jayanth, who had quit the post of KPCC secretary in protest against the Congress decision to give the vacant Rajya Sabha seat to the Kerala Congress (M) in 2018, is back with a bang as KPCC general secretary. He is considered close to Mr. Sudhakaran, who had then echoed similar sentiments against the catastrophic decision of the Congress leadership.

Consequently, the KPCC is moving to a fresh alternative from the era of two deeply divided factions that supported Mr. Karunakaran and former Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony and later carried on as the Chennithala and Chandy groups.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 8:29:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/news-analysis-congress-rejig-in-kerala-alters-group-equations/article37122944.ece

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