Senior Congress leader K P Anilkumar quit the party on Tuesday. Addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, Anilkumar said he was ending his 43-year-old relationship with the party with a heavy heart. He said he has sent his resignation letter to AICC president Sonia Gandhi and KPCC chief K Sudhakaran.
Soon after the press conference, he left for AKG Centre, the headquarters of the CPM in Thiruvananthapuram, where he was welcomed into the CPM-fold by senior leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Anilkumar was suspended from the party on August 28 after he questioned the manner in which the new District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents were appointed. Reacting to Anilkumar's decision, the KPCC president said the party had decided to expel him as the explanation given by him was not satisfactory. "Anilkumar is someone who had occupied key posts in the party. The kind of statements he made are unacceptable. I'm announcing the decision to expel him from the party,"Sudhakaran said.
Anilkumar reiterated that the current state leadership of the party was behaving in an authoritarian manner. Standing firm on the charges he made during a TV debate, he said the state leadership was yet to respond to his explanation even after 11 days. He also asked why there was no disciplinary action against senior leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala who raised similar allegations against the state leadership.
After announcing his resignation, Anilkumar slammed the party leadership saying it was unable to organise even a protest against the anti-people policies of the Narendra Modi government.
Anilkumar said he was proud to say that he could lead the state Youth Congress without succumbing to factional pressures for five years from 2002 to 2007. He said he and his colleagues had an important role in keeping the youth within the party fold even after veteran leader K Karunakaran left the Congress to form his own party.
Anilkumar unleashed a scathing attack on Sudhakaran, calling him a 'Sangh Parivar-minded person'. "When I was denied opportunities in the party, I never went to hold talks with the BJP or Sangh Parivar. Sudhakaran has admitted that he was ready to talk with Sangh Parivar. Only a person with the Sangh Parivar mindset can think of joining them. When such a person is heading the party in Kerala, how will there be democracy and secularism in the Congress," he said.
Making it clear that he would continue to be in active politics, he said he will announce his future plans in Kozhikode on Wednesday.
He also blamed AICC general secretary K C Venugopal for the ongoing crisis in the party. “Venugopal has a huge role in the latest developments. He wants everything to be under his control,” he said.
He said he had to pay a price for ignoring group equations as he was kept away from organisational positions after his term as Youth Congress president ended. He was made a KPCC general secretary when Ramesh Chennithala became president. After that he served as KPCC general secretary under V M Sudheeran, M M Hassan and Mullappally Ramachandran.
Anilkumar said he was denied a seat to contest in the assembly elections in 2016 and 2021. He said he had been focusing on the Koyilandi seat in Kozhikode, but ahead of the assembly polls this year, he was asked to contest from Vattiyoorkavu seat in Thiruvananthapuram. However, he was not allowed the seat following local protests. He said it was all orchestrated.
Earlier this month, another Congress leader P S Prasanth had joined the CPM after he was expelled by the Congress. Prasanth, a former KPCC secretary and UDF candidate in the last assembly polls, was suspended for his explosive letter against K C Venugopal, The former KPCC secretary termed Venugopal as the one solely responsible for the party's dire state of affairs in Kerala.