INTUC report on Kerala poll debacle slams Oommen Chandy's appointment, AICC survey

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

Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has prepared a report, detailing the factors that had led to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF)’s drubbing at the recent Assembly polls. 

Besides criticizing the appointment of Oommen Chandy as the head of the election management and strategy committee, the 23-page report also flayed Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran’s style of functioning.

Unleashing a strong criticism against the All India Congress Committee’s survey to finalise candidates, the INTUC wondered if anyone had seen the survey report. 

The report was submitted to prominent Congress leaders and KPCC leadership.

INTUC found that the appointment of Chandy after the debacle at the polls to the local bodies was merely cosmetic treatment. The post-appointment welcome group leaders had accorded to Chandy at the airport created confusion among the party workers, the report said. 

The UDF workers were disappointed by the Front’s defeat in Chennithala panchayat, the home civic body of Ramesh Chennithala, and the formation of the governing council there with Left backing. The report also accused Ramachandran of creating a feeling that he was far aloof from the party workers. 

UDF failed in delivering its manifesto, which the report termed excellent, to the voters’ doorsteps. The Front also could not adequately mobilize the alliance partners. 

The report blamed the party leadership for sidelining affiliated organizations, including INTUC. Fresh candidates fielded as part of generational change had little time to understand their constituencies. 

Though the Congress had put up a tough challenge at Nemom, the UDF failed in winning the support of the Muslim community. The report expressed suspicion on whether Christian denominations had worked against UDF with a vengeance.  

The INTUC also blamed the leadership for ignoring the Ezhava community’s grievance that it had not been given due consideration. 

The report was prepared by a panel, with INTUC State president R Chandrasekharan as its chairman, and V R Pratapan as convener. 

Besides the two, the committee comprised K P Haridas, A Shamsuddin, Philip Joseph, and Malayalapuzha Jyothish Kumar as its members. 

Avoid anti-social elements

The INTUC recommended the Congress leaders to avoid the company of anti-social elements and other criminals while giving soundbites to television channels. 

The INTUC report said none of the leaders had tried to control such elements. Such visuals—of anti-social elements accompanying leaders—made people distance themselves from the party.

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