Thiruvananthapuram: The simmering discontent in the Congress leadership in Kerala over parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor’s Malabar campaign has mellowed down a bit in light of the apprehensions raised by United Democratic Front (UDF) constituents.
Senior leader Ramesh Chennithala contacted Opposition leader V D Satheesan and Shashi Tharoor in a bid to thaw the situation.
Chennithala conducted a press conference on Thursday to remind everyone that the party is more important than anything else. He was careful not to take sides as well.
The party leaders are trying to contend in public that the hype given by the media to Tharoor's tour precipitated a controversy. However, the dominant faction in the party is not in a mood to take it lightly.
At the same time many are of the view that Tharoor’s participation in the functions organised by the Congress or by those close to the party cannot be considered as factional activity.
The body language of Tharoor and Satheesan suggest they are unlikely to patch up. Both attended a function in the State Capital the other day.
What UDF allies say
Revolutionary Socialist Party leader A A Azeez commented that his party has no issues about who leads the Congress, which is the prime constituent of the front now. Kerala Congress (Joseph) leader Mons Joseph said there was no scope for any controversy as long as Tharoor remained a Member of Parliament from the UDF side.
Though Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President K Sudhakaran is peeved that some leaders flouted the party ban on making statements in public, he has decided not to precipitate matters by taking disciplinary action.
Meanwhile, All-India Congress general secretary Tariq Anwar is arriving in Kerala on Friday. He will participate in the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Kozhikode District Congress Committee office.
Sudhakaran and M K Raghavan, MP, who organised Tharoor's Malabar tour, will participate in Saturday’s function.