With a year for the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress leaders from Kerala have started to fight it out in the rather open ground. Nothing new in the fights. All these years, the Congress has always gone through such turmoil whenever elections are due. But this time, it is quite early.
The new episode sparked off with majority of the Congress MPs openly wishing to re-enter the state politics. Adding more fuel was Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who expressed his willingness to be the Chief Minister candidate. What else is needed to ignite the spirit of the age-old leaders?
The MPs expressed readiness to relinquish their seats for their colleagues; a show of magnanimity, which they never bother to show during elections. But this time, they are king enough for any of their colleagues who want to go to Delhi.
Many of the leaders are not quite surprised. With Lok Sabha elections only a year away, the present MPs may fear of losing their battleground. Moreover, only less time is there for a real groundwork to hold the supporters and the mass into their fold, which many feel to be a difficult part. Moreover, Delhi does not hold much anymore for the Congress with the party itself nowhere to be seen. But for the assembly polls, there is still time for a proper groundwork as elections are due only in 2026; they can buy more time.
It was none other than Shashi Tharoor who ignited the spirit of being in the state rather than flying to Delhi. Tharoor was the first one to prompt openly his desire to be the Chief Minister candidate. Soon after meeting Orthodox Syrian Church head Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, Tharoor hinted his will to be part of the state politics. After the meeting, he had said that the members of civil society have been asking him to concentrate on the southern state.
Soon other MPs from the Congress followed suit.
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), which met recently, is reportedly cracked whip on party leaders, including Chief Minister wannabes, from publicly airing their ambitions. It is learned that the KPCC was highly critical on the MPs who wished to re-enter state politics. The KPCC felt that the MPs by airing their ambitions in the open had embarrassed the party. They felt that it was just like getting defeated even before the fight began.
While the Congress leaders are embroiled, as usual, the Left in the state have already started preparations for the Lok Sabha elections. The CPM State Committee had asked its leaders and cadres for careful interventions right from the booth levels to strengthen the preparations for the Lok Sabha elections. They are planning mega campaigns and even door-to-door campaign well ahead.