Is the Kerala leadership of the Congress party in the dark over the appointment of a new KPCC president? Former chief minister Oommen Chandy's statement that he is unaware of any move for appointing a new chief reflects the common refrain of the local leadership that the high command has been keeping them out of the loop.
Both the groups within the Kerala unit, 'I' and 'A', share the same sentiments. The central leadership has not yet sought suggestions on the new president from the group leaders.
The Ashok Chavan panel, which made an online recording of the reasons that led to the UDF's poll debacle, had not invited the Congress political affairs committee members for its sitting.
Mullappally Ramachandran, who had announced his willingness to quit the post of the KPCC president, has now completely withdrawn from the responsibility of leading the State unit.
Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala have not been contacting the central leaders after their failed attempt to win the latter a second term as the leader of the opposition in the Assembly.
Adding to the confusion, K Sudhakaran, apparently ahead in the race to the KPCC top post, said an announcement on the president would be made soon. His statement made the Congress factions wonder if a president would be posted without consulting them.
The present confusion might have led Chandy to say that he would name his choice for the next KPCC president only if the central leadership seek his opinion.
Meanwhile, questions have been raised on whether Chandy would support Sudhakaran to the post of KPCC president. Responding, the former chief minister said he would discuss the matter with his party colleagues before making a decision.
Chandy said he would even accept if the high command might appoint someone as the chief without consulting him. The high command has all the powers to any decision, he said.
Several prominent 'A' group leaders have been opposed to Sudhakaran's way of functioning. Unconfirmed news said that they may back Kodikunnil Suresh. However, both groups admitted that Sudhakaran and Suresh are the front-runners.
Chandy has written to Sonia Gandhi after the selection of the opposition leader, explaining the circumstances under which he had supported Chennithala. The veteran leader also shared his view on V D Satheesan's appointment as the opposition leader. The 'A' group, meanwhile, was miffed over the leaking of Chennithala's letter.
The Chavan committee had not sought the MPs and MLAs suggestions on the KPCC president when it probed the drubbing at the polls. The State leaders expressed hope that the central leadership would discuss the KPCC president issue with them after receiving the Chavan panel's report.
Chennithala's letter a rumour: Joseph
Several factors led to the defeat of the UDF in the Assembly polls, former minister K C Joseph said, adding that there was a decrease in minority votes.
Making light of the contents of Chennithala's letter that were made public, Joseph said they were merely rumours. But he added that Chandy was not a new face in the Congress.