scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Sunday, September 19, 2021

New power equations in Congress Kerala unit push Chennithala to the sidelines

Pushing the 65-year-old former leader of opposition to the sidelines is the emergence of a new power centre in the state unit comprising AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, KPCC president K Sudhakaran and leader of opposition V D Satheesan.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: September 2, 2021 7:22:02 am
Out as Opp leader, Chennithala likely to get AICC general secretary postRamesh Chennithala

CHANGING POWER equations in Kerala unit of Congress appear to have dealt a setback to senior party leader Ramesh Chennithala, who until this year’s assembly elections was considered a formidable power centre.

Pushing the 65-year-old former leader of opposition to the sidelines is the emergence of a new power centre in the state unit comprising AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, KPCC president K Sudhakaran and leader of opposition V D Satheesan.

The latest round of appointments of District Congress Committee (DCC) chiefs reinforced that the three leaders had clearly gained an upper hand in Kerala matters, sidelining Chennithala and former chief minister Oommen Chandy – who headed rival camps in the party for the past 18 years.

Although Chennithala expressed displeasure over the lack of deliberations in selection of the DCC chiefs, it was made clear to him that the days of groupism in the party were over and he should realise that a new leadership is at the helm to chart out the future course.

Sources close to Chennithala said Venugopal, Sudhakaran and Satheesan have been trying to put across the impression that his days were over in the party. “By repeating that groups in the party have no more relevance, they want to send a message that Chandy and Chennithala do not have decisive roles in the party matters any more. What is the rationale behind it? Sudhakaran is 73 and Chennithala is only 65. So, who should actually step aside for a younger generation,” said a Chennithala loyalist.

Chennithala loyalists see the role of Venugopal in the churning in the state unit. “Many of the DCC chiefs are Venugopal’s nominees. Sensing his apparent proximity to the party high command, several MPs and legislators have already rallied behind him. This is a move to usurp the control of the party state unit by the three leaders,’’ said a Congress leader.

On Wednesday, Chennithala spoke out against the expulsion of KPCC secretary P S Prasanth on charges of criticising Venugopal. Also, the party suspended two senior leaders, both Chennithala loyalists, on charges of making adverse remarks against the new list of DCC chiefs.

No action, however, has been initiated against leaders who publicly spoke against Chennithala.

“Let the people decide whether there is a double standard with regard to disciplinary actions. I have already communicated my concerns to the party leadership. An organisational election is the remedy for all issues in the party. Let the high command decide on the timing of the election. In the past, such an exercise had been exclusively done in Kerala,’’ Chennithala told reporters.

On whether a new group would come up in the party, Chennithala said, “Wait and see.”

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement