Congress poll debacle | High-command observers to reach Kerala after lockdown

Congress expedites candidate selection with late-night parleys in Delhi
(From left) Mullappally Ramachandran, Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy in New Delhi.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress will go into a total revamp mode after the arrival of high command-deputed observers in Kerala post lockdown.

The observers, former Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha M Mallikarjun Kharge and former Chief Minister of Puducherry V Vaithilingam, are expected in Kerala after the lockdown. Their primary task will be to select the Opposition Leader of the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly.

The observers will submit a report to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi after a meeting of the Congress parliamentary party. They will seek the opinion of MLAs before forwarding the report.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has taken a stand to abide by any decision of the party high command. Even his critics had lauded his performance as the opposition leader during the past five years.

Another name that is doing the rounds as the next opposition leader is that of V D Satheesan of the ‘I’ group. Though the group has a slight upper hand in the Assembly, a significant number of MLAs hold strong personal views beyond group affiliations.

A majority of young MLAs are supporting a change of leadership. ‘A’ group’s Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and PT Thomas are also being considered for the post of the opposition leader.

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has not yet called for changing the opposition leader. The political affairs committee (PAC) that met here on Friday ended without disputes, and made a call for a change without compromising on unity. Several leaders are viewing the cordial PAC meet as a positive sign.

Indications, however, are that KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran will have to quit the post. Either K Sudhakaran or K Muraleedharan is likely to replace Ramachandran. There are views opposed to dropping Mullappally in a hurry. Instead, the refrain is to replace him during the party reorganization process.

A section of leaders in the party is also demanding to accommodate Chennithala and Mullappally in suitable positions, if they quit.

Senior leader A K Antony is of the view that any change at the helm should be made only after taking those who will be dropped into confidence. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal mooted a revamp that is convincing to party workers and UDF partners. These leaders’ stand will have a say in the decision of the high command.  

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