Kerala DCC revamp triggers fresh feud in Congress as Chandy, Chennithala fume

Senior Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy
Senior Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy

As expected, the appointment of the new District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents in Kerala has stirred fresh trouble in the party's state unit, with senior leaders publicly airing their displeasure over the restructuring process, irking the party high command.

Party veterans Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, who head the A and I factions respectively, said the DCC presidents were appointed without enough discussions in the state. Senior leaders including K C Joseph and K Babu echoed their concerns while K Muraleedharan back the state leadership citing the appointments were made after enough discussions.

Speaking to media in Kottayam on Sunday, Chandy said there should have been more discussions among the leaders in the state.

“Had there been more discussions the situation would have been much better. Effective discussions used to happen here earlier. Then if there's dispute over some matters, we would list them out and take it to the high command. We would also present various aspects of the disputed matter before the high command. Based on that, the high command would take a decision. This was the procedure we used to follow. This time the problems arose as all the problems were taken to the high command without discussing here,” Chandy said.

He said his name was being dragged to the controversy unnecessarily. “I read in newspapers that it was I who suggested C P Mathew's name for Idukki district. The fact is that even Mathew wouldn't believe that. In case of Kottayam, we were asked to give a panel of probable DCC presidents and we gave three names. I was never asked to give one specific name,” he said.

Chennithala said enough discussions were not held within the state unit over the new appointments.

“The state leadership would have avoided a situation where the high command had to make so much interventions,” he said.

“I can't agree with those who say they don't belong to any faction once they get into a position. Everybody in Congress belongs to one group or the other. The disputes should have been settled through talks,” the former Leader of the Opposition said.

On the suspension of senior leaders K P Anilkumar and Sivadasan Nair for making public statements against the state leadership on Saturday, Chandy said they should have been given a chance to explain their version before taking the action.

Congress leaders K Sivadasan Nair and K P Anil Kumar
Congress leaders K Sivadasan Nair and K P Anil Kumar

Chennithala said the KPCC president should have taken disciplinary action only according to the party Constitution.

Former MLA K C Joseph, a confidant of Chandy, said the current developments were threatening the unity in the party. There should be steps to ensure unity which is the need of the hour unlike never before, he said.

Murali stands with state leadership

Vadakara MP K Muraleedharan, KPCC's campaign committee head, rubbished the criticism raised by Chandy and Chennithala.

He said the names were finalised after enough consultations.

Oommen Chandy, ramesh Chennithala and K Muraleedharan

“I used to complain that I come to know about party decision through media. This time it was not like that. The state leadership held discussions with everyone. The new DCC presidents' list has given the party a popular appeal,” he said.

He also said the action against Anil Kumar and Nair were not final. “Both of them can correct their mistake and come back,” he said.

According to TV reports the Congress central leadership is also peeved at the senior leaders for airing their dissent.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.