Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday played down the recent exits of veteran leaders from rival Congress to join his party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), as anything out of the ordinary.
"The Congress is a crumbling house. Those who wish to not wither with it will find that the CPM too serves the people," Vijayan said.
"The recent exits won't be the end of it," Vijayan added.
Senior Congress leaders G Rathikumar and KP Anil Kumar had announced their resignation from the party this week.
They joined the CPM today to a rousing welcome on Wednesday.
Anil Kumar, who had an association with the Congress for 43 years, hinted that there would be more exits in the near future.
He cited the stifling way with which the leadership now quelled dissenting voices as one of the reasons.
"The bane of the Congress party today is its leadership which includes AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal, Sudhakaran and Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan. More leaders from the Congress party are expected to leave the party soon," Anil Kumar said.
Anil Kumar was a general secretary of the state Congress party under four state president's and he was the outgoing organisational general secretary till Sudhakaran was appointed as the new president, recently.
Rathikumar was the general secretary for the past two-and-a-half years.
Late last month, A V Gopinath, another KPCC office-bearer, too had announced his departure from the party, upset over the appointment of another leader as the head of the Palakkad District Congress Committee.
'Congress bigger than any individual'
Opposition leader V D Satheesan, however, made light of the recent resignations on Wednesday.
"The Congress party is bigger than any individual. It will not be affected by anyone's exit," remarked Satheesan, the Paravur legislator, after learning that few of its senior leaders had left the party to join the CPM fold.
"Even if I leave, someone smarter than me will take my place. Nothing has happened to the party even after veteran leader K Karunakaran's exit," Satheesan said referring to the upheavals in the party in the first decade of this millennium.
Leaders changing party is nothing new in Kerala, Satheesan observed.
"It is natural for the CPM to accept those who have left the Congress. Those who left the CPM have also been welcomed here," he said.
The CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) had recently won the Assembly elections to secure an unprecedented second term in office under the leadership of Pinarayi Vijayan.
On the other hand, Congress saw reverses in both the 2020 local body polls and the recent assembly polls.
KPCC President K Sudhakaran and Satheesan are now at the forefront of overhauling the party demoralised by its performances.
Though not all of their proposals were readily accepted, the duo has convinced many that, after the recent Assembly election debacle, such changes are necessary for the party to rebound.