Congress slugfest: Chandy rebuts Thiruvanchoor's claim that Chennithala is using him as cover

Ramesh Chennithala and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.
Ramesh Chennithala and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.

The slugfest within the Congress' Kerala unit, triggered by the leadership restructuring, refuses to settle down with the warring factions trading blows throughout the day.

Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had kicked off a fresh debate earlier on Saturday when he accused former opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala of using Oommen Chandy as a shield to attack the new leadership.

Chandy's response to it was that Chennithala doesn't need anybody's cover. “Certainly not my cover,” said former chief minister Oommen Chandy at Puthupally.

Thiruvanchoor, who had been keeping his distance from the A group headed by Chandy following the recent restructuring had surprised many by criticising Chennithala. It was a speech made by Chennithala at the district Congress office a day before that provoked Thiruvanchoor.

Chennithala had said that the new state leadership cannot move forward without consulting Chandy who is an AICC general secretary.

Chandy and Chennithala head the traditionally rival A and I groups respectively. However, the two have come together in the wake of the ongoing restructuring process.

"I think Chennithala would regret what he said. One shouldn't fuel the fire when the leadership is trying to douse it. There's a limit to public remarks," Thiruvanchoor told reporters in Kottayam.

"I don't believe that Chennithala spoke with the approval of Oommen Chandy. What we saw at Kottayam DCC was a new beginning. How long can the party go forward with such a style? It is a challenge to the ordinary workers of the party to keep such vengeance at a time when the party has become so weak," Thiruvanchoor said.

K Muraleedharan MP echoed Thiruvanchoor's views in Thiruvananthapuram. Speaking at an event where Palode Ravi took charge as DCC president, Muraleedharan said leaders should not make the occasion of power transfer in the DCC a battlefield. "The party is not strong enough to bear all that now," he said. "The current crisis in the party could be resolved if all of us are ready to make a little bit of compromise," he said.

Ready for talks: Sudhakaran
KPCC president K Sudhakaran reiterated that leaders should refrain from making public statements about the party's internal affairs. He said he was ready to hold talks with both Chandy and Chennithala.

Sudhakaran was speaking to the media after the event in which P K Faisal took charge as the Kasaragod DCC president.

Rajmohan Unnithan, the Kasaragod MP, who also attended the function said the Congress workers in Kerala believe that the party's fortunes could be revived with the appointment of Sudhakaran as the state president. "Party workers should not try to destroy the party," he said.

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