Thiruvananthapuram: Days after he quit the party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) in Kerala, Congress leader VM Sudheeran on Monday announced his resignation from the All India Congress Committee (AICC), the central decision-making body of the Indian National Congress (INC).
The decision, which comes amid reconciliatory efforts by both the state and central leadership to stave off dissent within the party after a slew of controversial yet reformative steps, has made difficult the task ahead for Tariq Anwar, the AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala to sort out Congress' organisational issues here.
Anwar, who arrived on Sunday, is slated to hold talks with senior Congress leaders including VM Sudheeran.
It was on Saturday that Sudheeran submitted his resignation letter to Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran.
While he did not make public the reason(s) behind his decision, speculations were rife that he was unhappy with the way the new leadership - headed by Sudhakaran and Opposition leader VD Satheesan - functioned.
Political pundits had previously observed that the way the duo favoured those closest to them and neglected the advice of veteran leaders and expert committees alienated a greater section of the party.
There were also complaints that the leadership had not consulted with Sudheeran before setting out to reorganize the age-old party.
Former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Sudheeran's presence was a must in the PAC.
“In the past, his stances in the PAC has helped the party several times,” Chennithala said.
Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had also said that Sudheeran should not have resigned from PAC.
UDF convener M M Hassan labelled the whole incident as unfortunate.
As more senior leaders came in support of Sudheeran, Sudharakan told the media that he will request him to withdraw his resignation.
“We will ask Sudheeran to withdraw his resignation. We will listen to his concerns and try to resolve them. We want him to continue as a part of the party,” Sudhakaran had said.
However, Sudheeran is insistent on continuing as an ordinary Congress activist. He told Satheesan so when the latter paid him a visit.
However, the party leadership is hopeful that with Anwar's intervention, problems could be resolved.
Known for his non-corrupt and idealist image, Sudheeran often stands firm on his convictions. This has led to differences of opinions with other top leaders in the past too.
He had to step down as KPCC president following the party's rout in the 2016 assembly polls in which Chandy was unseated from power.
Sudheeran was picked as KPCC president by the AICC as he did not belong to either of the 'A' or 'I' factions headed by Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala respectively.
The latest reforms within the party, including the appointment of Sudhakaran and Satheesan, threatened the existing power structures within the party and it led to the coming together of Chandy and Chennithala who used to head the rival factions.
Sudhakaran and Satheesan had also been trying to appease Chandy and Chennithala to win their army of followers.