Back to back resignations jolt Congress: KPCC leadership in damage control mode

Back to back resignations jolts Congress: KPCC leadership embarks on damage control mode
(from left) Oommen Chandy, Mullappally Ramachandran, Ramesh Chennithala and V M Sudheeran. File photo

Thiruvananthapuram: The resignations of Benny Behanan and K Muraleedharan from the posts of UDF Convenor and KPCC Campaign Committee chairman respectively have evoked mixed reactions in the Congress.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has already sought the views of UDF constituent parties on appointing M M Hassan as convenor in place of Behanan. He is likely to make the announcement after getting the nod from High Command in Delhi.

After Benny became an MP it was the "A" Group which first reached a decision to replace him with Hassan. However, when the decision was conveyed to Benny he expressed strong reservations pointing out that Rahul Gandhi had taken the initiative to appoint him as UDF convenor.

Even though the A group had asked KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran to officially recommend Hassan's name for UDF Convenor's post he chose to take Benny into confidence before proceeding further. But with pressure mounting within the group, Benny went ahead and announced his resignation.

The dramatic resignation announcement at a press conference took the A group and UDF leadership by surprise. Benny had not informed KPCC president before announcing his resignation.

“A” group had sought the post of UDF convenor which was with the I group then, in the wake of Ramesh Chennithala becoming opposition leader and Mullapally Ramachandran KPCC president. According to “A” group leaders, Benny became the UDF convenor in that quota. Since he was not able to fully concentrate on the post and devote time after becoming MP, Hassan's name was recommended.

Back to back resignations jolts Congress: KPCC leadership embarks on damage control mode
Benny Behanan

With Benny's resignation paving the way for various interpretations and triggering reports about the internal bickering in the party, the Congress leadership has initiated damage control measures. The leadership has put a gag on public reactions on the issue.

Nobody expected Muraleedharan's resignation soon after Benny's decision to quit. The campaign committee which he headed was constituted at the time of Lok Sabha polls and the panel was defunct now.

Back to back resignations jolts Congress: KPCC leadership embarks on damage control mode
K Muraleedharan

KPCC leadership has refuted Muraleedharan’s allegations that party level discussions and interactions were not taking place in the organization. Interestingly before leaving for Delhi to attend the Parliament session, Muraleedharan and Mullapally Ramachandran had detailed discussion at the KPCC headquarters.

Moreover, Muraleedharan is a leader who actively participates in the political affairs committee. Meanwhile, there's a buzz within the Congress that many MPs are keen to return to state politics through the Assembly polls in 2021. However, KPCC leadership is not in agreement with such a proposal.

Along with Hassan's convenor post, the leadership is likely to appoint veteran leader K V Thomas as one of the working presidents of the party. Chennithala, Mullapally and Oommen Chandy have jointly urged the high command to recommend a suitable post for Thomas.

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