Cong may add more office-bearers to DCCs

K Sudhakaran, VD Satheesan
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President K Sudhakaran and Opposition Leader in the Assembly V D Satheesan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in the State is mulling to accommodate more office-bearers in all District Congress Committees (DCCs) in a bid to tide over the crisis triggered by the organisational revamp move.

The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), which was against forming jumbo panels, had earlier decided to restrict the number of members in the committees in larger districts to 25, and to 15 in smaller districts.

With the revamp move running into troubled waters and creating a row, the KPCC is now planning to increase the numbers to 40 in larger districts and 30 in smaller ones.

Discussions, however, are on whether to add more members in all DCCs or confine it to a few districts. KPCC is also yet to decide if the number of additional members should be the same in all DCCs.

The party has justified the move to increase the number of office-bearers in DCCs, saying it is to assign the responsibilities of Congress Unit Committees (CUCs), the grassroots-level bodies. The KPCC may also add five more general secretaries to oversee the functioning of the Overseas Congress and CUCs.

If the KPCC decides to add more office-bearers, the organisational structure will also undergo a change. Earlier, the party had planned working committees with 26 members in larger districts, and 25 in smaller ones. Later, it postponed the setting up of working committees. The delay is to include in working committees those who may be omitted from the list of office-bearers.

Despite the KPCC president and opposition leader jointly leading the discussion, talks were confined only to the formation of DCCs in Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad. The talks hit a roadblock following a dispute over sharing block committee seats in Kannur.

Meanwhile, lower-rung leaders have expressed their feeling that State leaders are not sincere in ironing out the differences regarding the organisational revamp, which is the party's priority now. KPCC president K Sudhakaran and Opposition Leader V D Satheesan are likely to sit together for a discussion on Monday, after the party's statewide protest against K-Rail's SilverLine.

Sudhakaran and Satheesan had left for Idukki and Ernakulam, respectively, on Saturday to attend party events. Satheesan will not be available on March 8, since he will be in Wayanad as part of Rahul Gandhi's three-day visit to his constituency.

Sudhakaran, too, will be meeting Gandhi either on Tuesday or Wednesday, and discussions on DCCs are unlikely on these days.

Meanwhile, complaints have been raised against 'external interference' altering the list of office-bearers prepared and forwarded to KPCC after discussions at the lower levels. The charge was levelled by both the 'I' and 'A' groups, and pro-Satheesan Congress workers. The major complaint is against a general secretary from Malabar region.

Additionally, there is discontent over the appointment of a former district secretary of DYFI, who has been under Sudhakaran's protection, in the KPCC office before the organisational revamp.

The KPCC leadership has also received complaints from Thrissur, Kozhikode and Palakkad that names nominated by certain leaders were excluded from the list of office-bearers.

The 'A' group, meanwhile, has made it clear that it should be informed in advance, the appointment of any leader from the list it has provided. Both the groups hope that their demands will be met since Rahul Gandhi had instructed the KPCC to take Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala into confidence.

Meanwhile, central observer G Parameshwara set the ball rolling for the membership campaign in Kasaragod and Kannur districts on Saturday.

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