Rahul Gandhi in Kerala as KPCC feud rages

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

When he arrives in Kerala on Tuesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, MP, is likely to find himself in the thick of a raging rebellion by the ‘old guard’ against the new Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) leadership.

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Mr. Gandhi is scheduled to land in Kozhikode and proceed to Wayanad for a slew of meetings with his constituents.

KPCC president K. Sudhakaran, who was singled out for public criticism by Congress veterans V.M. Sudheeran and Mullappally Ramachandran, is likely to meet Mr. Gandhi. Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan is also in Kozhikode.

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It is unclear whether organisational issues in Kerala are on Mr. Gandhi's agenda.

AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala Tariq Anwar, who met Mr. Sudheeran on Monday, is likely to brief the national leadership on the organisational tug-of-war in the State.

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Last week, Mr. Sudheeran had resigned from the AICC and KPCC's political affairs committee (PAC) in protest against ‘authoritarianism and lack of consultation’ in the party.

Mr. Sudheeran had communicated his disenchantment with the ‘high-handed’ approach of the KPCC leadership to Mr. Anwar. He had gone public with his grievances.

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Mr. Sudheeran had reportedly accused Mr. Sudhakaran and Mr. Satheesan of by-passing senior leaders in the appointment of DCC presidents. ‘The new leadership had dashed expectations,’ he had said.

At a stroke, Mr. Sudheeran appeared to have found common cause with the grievances of Congress veterans Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, who control the ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups, respectively.

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Both the groups are shadow boxing their way forward in the KPCC reorganisation process to preserve their traditional relevance in the party's hierarchy. The factions are vying with the ‘emergent triad’ of Mr. Sudhakaran, Mr. Satheeshan and AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal to insert their loyalists into key party positions.

As KPCC presidents, Mr. Sudheeran and Mr. Ramachandran had tried to distance themselves from groups and opposed factionalism with mixed results. Both leaders are perceived to be close to CWC member A.K. Antony.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 8:39:09 AM |

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