Oommen Chandy to head Congress strategy panel for Kerala polls

Oommen Chandy
Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy . File photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Oommen Chandy will head a 10-member panel which will supervise the Congress's strategy and campaigning in the upcoming assembly polls in Kerala. The committee was formed in the discussions held in Delhi by the party top leadership with senior leaders of the state.

The decision follows reports that the AICC wanted to entrust Chandy, a former chief minister, with bigger responsibility in the run-up to the crucial polls due in a few months.

The members of the committee are Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Mullappally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, former KPCC Presidents V M Sudheeran, K Muraleedharan, Congress Lok Sabha member K Sudhakaran, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Tariq Anwar, AICC General Secretary (Organisation) K C Venugopal, Shashi Tharoor MP and KPCC Working President Kodikunnil Suresh.  

Congress Working Committee member A K Antony will be heading the poll campaign and would be present in Kerala from mid-February onwards till the end of the Assembly elections.

Antony, while speaking to IANS, said, "The Congress party will have a collective leadership and most of the candidates will be fresh and young faces. The Congress will come back with a bang in the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections."

K C Venugopal, while speaking to mediapersons, said, "The Congress is on track and those who are rejoicing at the recent local body poll victories are living in a fool's paradise. The Congress party has already done all the basic preparations and there will be several fresh faces as our candidates."

The Congress high command does not want the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections to be a repeat of the recent state local body polls wherein the party and the United Democratic Front (UDF) received a drubbing.

The main coalition partner of the Congress in the UDF, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), is also happy at Oommen Chandy coming back to the helm of the Congress party.

IUML National Organising Secretary and Member of Parliament, E T Mohammed Basheer said, "Chandy is a seasoned politician and his coming back to the helm of affairs in the Congress party will provide a morale boost to both the Congress and the Muslim League cadres. He is a grass-root leader who knows the pulse of the people and it is a welcome development as far as the Congress, the Muslim League and the UDF is concerned."

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