Kerala

Sudheeran hits out at partyleaders for giving up RS seat

‘No concrete assurances had been wrested from KC(M) that it would remain in UDF’

Former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V. M. Sudheeran on Wednesday virtually put the the Congress leadership in the State on its back foot by questioning the wisdom of giving up the Rajya Sabha seat to the Kerala Congress (M) [KC(M)] without getting any guarantees.

Addressing a press conference here , Mr. Sudheeran did not mince words stating that he proposed to continue with openly expressing his views and pointing out to the deviations of the party leadership in the State. He cannot be tethered to the clampdown on public reactions by the KPCC. Mr. Sudheeran used the opportunity to target AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy, who had constantly thrown roadblocks to prevent him from functioning as KPCC president.

He rejected the Congress leadership’s contentions about bringing back the KC(M) to the UDF, fearing that it would go against the basic premises on which AICC president Rahul Gandhi was mounting a secular platform.

“The impact of the decision (to accommodate Mr. Mani by giving his party the RS seat) will be serious. It will not strengthen the UDF. Besides, it does not add to the United Progressive Alliance as it would reduce its number in the Lok Sabha, indirectly benefiting the BJP.” he said.

Mr. Sudheeran maintained that a concrete assurance should have been wrested from Mr. Mani that he would remain in the UDF, specially in the light of the allegation that Mr. Mani had bargained with the Left Democratic Front and the BJP.

This had been done in the case of the Revolutionary Socialist Party, when it was coopted into the UDF because of the differences between its national and State leadership.

Indicating that major issues were discussed in party forums during his tenure, unlike in the case of the KC(M)’s entry, where the decision was taken by three persons, Mr Sudheeran said, “This was done not in the larger interests of the party, but to further the narrow factional interests, with only a single agenda,” he said.

Mr. Sudheeran sought to give a new twist to the whole issue by accusing the State leadership of involving the UDF partners in bringing back the KC(M), something which has never been done in the past.

Another significant aspect of Mr. Sudheeran’s press conference was the the direct hit at AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy, who was responsible for the factional degradation of the Congress party in the State.

Mr. Chandy did not accept him as KPCC president and was disdainful from the day he assumed office. He did not get any support during the two major political campaigns he led across the State against the CPI(M).

“Mr. Chandy did not even bother to mention my name at the inauguration and conclusion of these campaigns. And he did so only when I defended him in the solar case which broke out when my janapaksha yatra reached Kottayam,” he said and added that torrid factionalism had led to the defeat of the UDF.

Several Congress leaders lost their seats because factions betrayed one another. He also criticised the Opposition for failing to lead agitations on issues that affected the people and suspected that it was hand in glove with the ruling front on several issues.

Mr. Sudheeran justified several of the hard positions he had taken during Mr. Chandy’s term as Chief Minister, ranging from the ban on liquor bar issue to the controversies over certain land related decisions that the Cabinet took at the fag end of its term.

The attempts to put the blame for the defeat in the 2016 Assembly elections will not sell as factionalism caused it. Unfortunately, factionalism continues to torment the party, with the ordinary workers getting alienated, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:54:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sudheeran-hits-out-at-partyleaders-for-giving-up-rs-seat/article24155497.ece

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