The other day veteran Congress leader Oommen Chandy met AICC President Sonia Gandhi, conveying his reservations over the state leadership’s decision to go for a revamp now, given that the AICC has already announced the timetable for organisational elections. Not a new issue in the Congress for state leaders to meet the national leaders whenever party revamp happens.
Infighting within the centuries old party is nothing new; a course of action that has been going on for decades. .
The internal difference within the Congress in Kerala intensified in recent months with the State Unit going for a complete revamp from the grass root level. The decision of the new leadership led by Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran and opposition leader V D Satheesan to go ahead with the revamp had not gone down well with party veterans Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala. Former Opposition leader Chennithala is also learned to reach New Delhi to meet Sonia Gandhi to raise the same grievance.
Unlike the cadre parties – CPI(M) and BJP – , the Congress has become a synonym for infighting and groupism. Unlike others, the Congress leadership opened up their difference in the public once they believe their existence is at stake. They openly vent their anger against the leadership, paving way for a consensus talk. The rest is always a consensus history.
REVAMP; SAFEGUARDING POSITIONS
Veteran leaders began to air their differences soon after the party high command appointed K Sudhakaran as the new state party president and VD Satheesan as Leader of Opposition after the party’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the CPI(M) in the April Assembly elections. Old timers Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala felt the rising of a new faction and the two could not but join together. Moreover, the leaders allying with the two veterans also decided to fight back after Sudhakaran decided to go ahead with the revamp of the party at the lower and district levels.
The leaders behind Chandy and Chennithala feels that the revamp initiated by the new leadership would be nothing but nominating their allies. If this happens, then the two leaders know that it would consolidate the party under the new KPCC president and opposition leader Moreover, they think it will be suicidal for them if the revamp is not stopped. It is just Survival tactics for the leadership as well as for their group leaders right to the grass root level, highly placed sources said.
Moreover, Sudhakaran has started to overhaul the party, which the closest aides of Chandy and Chennithala fear would deal a heavy blow to their prospects. The sources said that a clear indication of the things to come is quite evident from the manner the president started to take disciplinary action. In the latest episode, one of the closest aides of Chandy and a former party secretary and treasurer M A Latheef was suspended from the party after he initiated dissident activities in Chirayinkeezhu constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district. For Chandy and Chennithala, they have nothing to lose but to safeguard their present positions. But for the new leaders, they have to win the race. As a safeguard, both Sudhakaran and Satheesan have been claiming everything will be discussed in the party, especially with the veteran leaders.
Once again the leadership has shown that infighting is never going to end in the Congress. The party is seeing the formation of a new faction. Earlier Sudhakaran and Satheesan were part of Chennithala faction. But once they have clustered to emerge as another faction, the leaders who had been sidelined have gathered together behind Chandy- Chennithala faction. Well, infighting within Congress is nothing new!!!!!!