Congress mass membership drive from Monday

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress membership drive ahead of the AICC-announced organisational elections will begin on Monday, coinciding with the Kerala Foundation Day.

The drive's state-level inauguration would be held at the KPCC headquarters here in the presence of AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Opposition Leader V D Satheesan, KPCC president K Sudhakaran, former Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala and others.

All committees from DCC and below would drive the membership campaign, ending on March 31. The DCCs would publish the list of accepted members between April 1 and 15, followed by elections to the booth and block committees. The DCC office-bearers would be elected in June-July, ahead of the KPCC-level polls in August.

The dates of the polls would be finalised based on KPCC's organisational calendar. A two-day KPCC leadership meeting from Monday would discuss the preparations for the membership campaign. Though a suggestion for including the newly formed units, too, should be included in the campaign has been under consideration, a consensus has been evading the party.

The KPCC last witnessed a tight poll competition in 1992, when Vayalar Ravi pipped A K Antony as the president. After Ravi's win. The rest of the election process was completed as part of the compromise formula. The two groups, A and I, joined hands in completing the process.

The groups have joined hands against the new KPCC leadership this time, though for different reasons. The rivalry between the groups, however, still has been existing at local levels. Though a tight contest could not be ruled out, mediatory talks, too, have commenced, and a clear picture would emerge once the membership drive gathers momentum.

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