After Kerala poll rout, calls for course correction get louder in Congress

DCCs, not KPCC, to get the stick for Kerala poll fiasco

It would take some time for the Congress in Kerala to come to terms with the debacle in the assembly election.

But many senior leaders, who seem to be worried about the situation, have demanded course correction for the party to stay relevant.

Veteran Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan mooted leadership change when he told Manorama News that a leader like K Sudhakaran deserved due recognition.

Ahead of the elections, there were reports that Sudhakaran, a working president of the KPCC and MP from Kannur, may replace Mullappally Ramachandran as the Congress's state chief.

"Sudhakaran is a good leader. He should be utilised better. The party needs one voice," he said.

Radhakrishnan, who had handled the Home portfolio in the Oommen Chandy cabinet, is one of the 21 successful Congress candidates in the state.

K Sudhakaran
K Sudhakaran

The United Democratic Front (UDF) won 41 seats, six less than what it had won in 2016. Congress could win 22 seats in 2016.

Senior Congress leader P T Thomas cited the party's complacency after the stunning victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He said the party has to correct its mistakes to move forward. He, however, made it clear that he was not calling for the resignation of Oommen Chandy or Ramesh Chennithala or Mullappally Ramachandran.

Joseph Vazhakkan, who was defeated by LDF's N Jayaraj in Kanjirappally seat, said the party cannot move forward without strengthening local leadership. He said decisions should not be imposed on the workers from above.

Kannur District Congress Committee (DCC) president Satheesan Pacheni also called for strengthening the party's foundations. Pacheni lost the poll to LDF's Kadannappalli Ramachandran in Kannur.

Congress's Alappuzha district chief M Liju resigned from the post taking moral responsibility for the party's poor performance in the district. Liju, who contested from Ambalappuzha constituency, lost to CPM's H Salam by 11,125 votes. Of the nine seats in the district the Congress-led UDF could win only one as Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala retained his Haripad seat.

Idukki DCC president Ibrahim Kutty Kallar too expressed willingness to step down even as calling for a restructuring of the organisation. "Everyone should be ready to sacrifice any position if it's needed for strengthening the party," Kallar said.

Anil Akkara, who lost to CPM's Xavier Chittilappally in Vadakkancherry, said he would steer clear of electoral politics. He said he would continue the legal fight against the corruption in the Life Mission project in his constituency.

State Congress president Mullapally Ramachandran when asked if he would resign after taking the moral responsibility of the defeat, said, "I will definitely come back to you after going through what actually happened."

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