Updated: May 22, 2021 4:33:38 pm
After days of deliberations and suspense, the Congress Saturday decided to appoint V D Satheesan as the new Leader of the Opposition in Kerala, ushering in a generational change in the state unit which is battered and bruised by the recent electoral set back.
Satheesan, 56, was elected from Paravur constituency in Ernakulam district for a fifth consecutive term in the Kerala polls. He has served as the vice-president of the state unit and AICC secretary in the past. He was also the president of the PAC and estimate committees in the Assembly’s last term.
This is the first time an Opposition leader will hail from Ernakulam district.
Satheesan replaces veteran Ramesh Chennithala who was the Leader of the Opposition in the last Assembly. The move marks a change of leadership in the legislative ranks of the Congress and the UDF coalition it leads in the House.
The party is also planning to replace Mullappally Ramachandran as KPCC president.
Talking to The Indian Express, AICC in-charge of Kerala Tariq Anwar said the high command’s decision to appoint Satheesan as the LoP has been conveyed to the state unit. “I just conveyed to the state unit. The state unit will convey to the Speaker,” he said.
“After the setback in the election, Congress workers felt there needed to be some change. The present leaders also don’t want to continue,” Anwar added.
Asked about the change in PCC president, Anwar said, “After some time. Not yet decided.”
The decision came after most of the newly elected MLAs preferred a change in House leadership.
AICC observers Mallikarjun Kharge and R Vaithilingam had arrived in Kerala after the Assembly election results and held one-on-one discussions with all Congress MLAs. Of the 21 Congress MLAs, at least 12 are reported to have chosen Satheesan over Chennithala.
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