Thiruvananthapuram: An old Ambassador car waited on Indira Bhavan premises to pick up Mullappally Ramachandran, who had arrived at the KPCC headquarters on Tuesday morning in a Toyota Innova.
Before boarding the old warhorse Ramachandran took his last decision as the KPCC president. He hiked the salary of the employees at the party headquarters by Rs 1,000 each. He also announced some perks to those who braved COVID-19 to attend office.
KPCC office-bearers T Siddique, K B Sasikumar, John Vinatius and employees accorded Ramachandran an emotional farewell as he left the office in the evening.
Ramachandran, who became the KPCC president in 2018, did not get enough time at the helm as expected. He was considered the party’s lodestar after UDF won 19 out of the 20 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.
Criticism soon followed as the UDF lost heavily in the local body and Assembly elections. Ramachandran had expressed his willingness to step down as KPCC president soon after the announcement of the Assembly poll results. But he continued till the AICC selected a new president after being told that he alone need not shoulder the responsibility of the poll debacle.
After the AICC had appointed K Sudhakaran as the KPCC president, Ramachandran congratulated him over the phone.
“I am sure Sudhakaran can take the Congress to great heights that no other party could claim of by keeping together excellent leaders like A K Antony, Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, and young leaders. Its’ true that there are groups in Congress, but groups should not grow bigger than the party,” he said.
Change in KPCC, DCC leaderships
The KPCC and DCC leaderships will also change with the appointment of K Sudhakaran as the chief of Congress’s State unit.
The appointment also meant that the KPCC had been disbanded. Sudharakan is hoping to appoint effective and strong small committees instead of the jumbo panels as soon as possible.
Sudhakaran is the 21st president of the KPCC ever since the formation of the Kerala State on November 1, 1956.
Check out some interesting facts about former KPCC chiefs:
First president: K Madhava Menon (1956-57)
Longest period as president: A K Antony. 3,279 days (1973-77, 1987-92). He was also the president of KPCC (U) and KPCC (S) during 1979-82
Longest consecutive terms: Ramesh Chennithala. 3,155 days. (2005-14)
Presidents who later became chief minister: R Shankar, A K Antony
Leaders who simultaneously held the posts of chief minister and KPCC president: A K Antony. 177 days. (April 27, 1977 to October 20, 1977)
KPCC presidents who later became governors*: K C Abraham, K K Vishwanathan, K M Chandy
KPCC presidents who later became central ministers: A K Antony, Vayalar Ravi, Mullappally Ramachandran**
KPCC presidents who later became opposition leaders: A K Antony, Ramesh Chennithala
*K Shankaranarayanan, who later became a Governor, was the State president of the Indian National Congress (Organization) during 1971-76.
**Mullappally Ramachandran had been a central minister before his appointment as the KPCC president.