Analysis | Perform or perish: Six-month test awaits new DCC chiefs in Kerala

The Congress has appointed the new District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents in Kerala with a clear message – perform or perish. The state leadership, headed by KPCC president K Sudhakaran, will be keenly watching the performance of the new district chiefs, who have been appointed amid intense factionalism within the party.

The party will be reviewing the performance of the DCC presidents in the initial months and their fate will be decided based on the evaluation.

“We will see how they are performing in the first six months. We have told them clearly that they will have to prove their mettle within six months. Those who underperform will have to go,” a top Congress leader, who played a key role in the selection process, told Onmanorama.

“The new appointments have been done as part of a plan of action to bring the party back to power in Kerala. If they can't strengthen the party at the lower level, how can we implement the larger plan,” the leader asked. He said the party can go ahead only with a performance-based approach.

He exuded confidence that all the new DCC chiefs have the calibre to strengthen the party's district units.

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

Asked about the possible threats from the factional leaders, who have raised a revolt against the new leadership, the leader said, “We will not surrender before any unwarranted pressure. We have appointed the new DCC chiefs, considering social balance and the situations in each district. We have done the appointment in consultation with group leaders and other prominent leaders. Most of the new appointees also belong to either A or I groups. How can the factional leaders reject any of them,” the leader asked.

A DCC president should not be someone who waits for the nod of factional leaders to implement a programme when the state leadership asks him to do so, he said.

“We will not tolerate such people,” the leader said.

The KPCC on Saturday also sent out a firm signal to the disgruntled leaders by suspending two prominent leaders – K P Anil Kumar and Sivadasan Nair – soon after they vented their ire on TV over the manner in which the new DCC chiefs were selected.

The Congress high command decided to appoint new DCC chiefs in all 14 districts of Kerala following the party's drubbing in the April assembly polls.

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

The restructuring in the party was initiated following the appointment of V D Satheesan as Leader of the Opposition and Sudhakaran as KPCC president. The appointment of DCC presidents were delayed due to difference of opinion between the new leadership and party veterans – Chandy and Chennithala – who head the prominent factions in the party's state unit.  

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