Sudhakaran-Satheesan-Venugopal trio sets the agenda for Congress in Kerala

Opposition Leader VD Satheesan, KPCC president K Sudhakaran, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal. Photo: Manorama

Kannur: Opposition Leader in the Assembly V D Satheesan has made it clear that KPCC president K Sudhakaran will have the last word in Congress in Kerala with regard to organisational matters.

Sudhakaran, in turn, has stressed the need for taking Congress into a semi-cadre mode for making it a disciplined force.

AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, however, said that the party leaders and workers should draw the line before airing views in public about inner-party affairs. 

The three leaders, who steer the party now in Kerala, used the venue of the inauguration of the District Congress Committee office in Kannur on Thursday to drive home their points. Their statements assumed a special significance after party veterans Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala struck a dissenting note over the appointment of new DCC presidents.

"There is a tendency among workers to shower abuse against party leaders on social media. Everyone should desist from this practice. Discipline and training are important from here after. The party should function like well-oiled machinery. A two-day training would be given to the newly appointed DCC presidents. The party should work in a semi-cadre mode. All workers should rally behind DCC presidents unitedly," Sudhakaran stated.  

Satheesan backed Sudhakaran and promised full support for his endeavours. 

"I extend full support to Sudhakaran's mission of taking the party into a semi-cadre system. Sudhakaran would be the last word in the party with regard to organisational matters. Congress believes in ensuring freedom of expression for all. Whatever be the issues and conflicts, Congress and the UDF would overcome them because it has a larger mission to achieve, which is to fight against the CPM and the LDF. The Congress would not dilute its ideology built on the principles of secularism, consensus and love."  

K Sudhakaran, VD Satheesan
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President K Sudhakaran and Opposition Leader in the Assembly V D Satheesan

Venugopal too stressed the need to contain dissent. 

"The Congress is a party that respects those who dissent. But before going public, the leaders should think about its possible impact. There should be a 'Lakshman Rekha' for dissension. Now, there is no time left for another experiment. The party workers must give full freedom to Sudhakaran for leading the party in the right direction. Consistent and systemic work should be carried out to make the party strong by ending the party's internal weaknesses," Venugopal said.  

"The KPCC president would take into account the opinion of all. None had the merit to teach Congress the principles of democracy. No one should dream that they would get anyone from Congress. Party classes and training would be given to cadres. It is time the party structure should get evolved into a larger framework," he added. 

Venugopal strikes a conciliatory note

Venugopal, however, said that the Congressmen would not do anything that would hurt Oommen Chandy.  

Claiming that he was not leading any faction in the Congress, Venugopal said Congress was his group. He termed Chandy and Chennithala as the topmost leaders of the party in the State.

AICC general secretary KC Venugopal
AICC general secretary KC Venugopal

"Decisions would be taken after holding discussions with everyone. It is quite natural that differences of opinion crop up when we make a decision. The Congress is not a party that finishes off people when they express a dissenting opinion," he added.

Anwar reiterates support to KPCC

AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala, Tariq Anwar, has reiterated support to the KPCC leadership over the row that erupted in Congress over the selection of DCC presidents.  He said the KPCC president had every right to take action against those who violated party discipline. 

The party would take into consideration the opinion of Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy while reconstituting the KPCC.

He said he had no ill-feeling against anyone who had raised complaints about his handling of the selection of the DCC presidents. 

Cong factions to approach Sonia Gandhi

However, the two prominent factions in the party are planning to approach Congress president Sonia Gandhi against Anwar.

The group leaders complained that Anwar failed to hold talks with all stakeholders in the party before finalising the DCC presidents.

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