The power struggle within the Congress in Kerala Saturday reached the doorstep of party president Sonia Gandhi.
State Congress chief V M Sudheeran met Sonia to apprise her of the situation in the state unit against the backdrop of a confrontation between him on one side and CM Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala on the other.
Sudheeran conveyed to Sonia that he wants to continue the revamp of the organisation. Both Chandy and Chennithala want the organisational reshuffle process postponed till the local body elections are over. Sources said Sonia, too, advised Sudheeran to focus on local body polls in November.
Sudheeran wants reconstitution of the party at the district level before the elections, but Chandy and Chennithala, who lead the ‘A’ and ‘I’ factions respectively, are opposed to the idea, especially after Sudheeran appointed a few leaders not affiliated to either group in committees of Wayanad and Kasargode districts. Usually, the two dominant factions distributed district Congress committees among themselves. Sudheeran, they apprehend, is trying to loosen their hold on district committees.
Both groups buried their differences and joined hands to stop organisational elections before local body polls, arguing it would create factional problems. After meeting Sonia, Sudheeran said the priority would be the local body polls, indicating the nature of discussions inside.
However, he added, “I stand by my view that it would be better if the party revamp takes places before the local body elections. I have not received any direction from the AICC on this so far. I did not get any direction in today’s discussion also. So there is no need for any confusion.”