Most of the Congress leaders in Kerala are showing their dissatisfaction after the party high command put out a list of 14 districts Congress Committee presidents. Even though two have been suspended, the outbursts from others continued on Monday also.
The list of the 14 surfaced late Saturday night, and out came the daggers. It was free for everyone to wash dirty linen in the public.
So far two top Congress leaders, a two-time legislator K.Sivadasan Nair, and senior party leader who is the outgoing organisational general secretary of the Kerala unit, K.P. Anilkumar have been suspended in a jiffy by State party chief K.Sudhakaran for their outbursts.
Incidentally, trouble began in the Kerala unit of the party ever since contrary to what has been the practice, the party high command came down heavy when they decided enough is enough of the way the faction managers — two times Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and veteran outgoing Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala for the past two decades used to share all the posts between themselves.
Putting an end to their hegemony, the high command stepped in soon after the April 6 Assembly results saw the Congress being defeated by Pinarayi Vijayan for the second time in a row.
Soon after Vijayan took over, the Congress high command stepped in and announced Sudhakaran as the new party president and V.D. Satheesan as the new leader of the opposition, making its intentions clear that it will no longer succumb to the arm twisting tactics of the faction managers.
Since then the once sparring Chandy -Chennithala duo buried their differences and have decided to work together. But contrary to their expectations, the second and third line Congress leaders seeing the writing on the wall, much to the surprise of the two senior leaders, decided to move where the power in the party is located and took their position alongside Sudhakaran and Satheesan.
A media critic on the condition of anonymity said the biggest mistake that Chandy and Chennithala made is they underestimated their own once faithful.
“Two decades back, when Chandy took over as the undisputed leader of the party, after legendary K. Karunakaran’s position became weak in the party, till a few months had reigned supreme. But following the poll debacle, aspiring Congress lower-level leaders felt that it would not be in their best interest to tag along with Chandy and Chennithala and they jumped out. Chandy too has realised this and this can be seen from his utterances in the past two days, where he has openly attacked both Sudhakaran and Satheesan,” said the critic.
And what can be observed is all the outbursts that have so far come out are from the top leaders presently attached to the Chandy-Chennithala camp, while there has been a stoic silence from the first or second-line leaders.
K.K. Shaju, a former legislator and now the president of the Dalit Congress is also said to be upset as none from his community has been made a district president.
“See, I am a lower rung leader of the Congress and I just cannot make any statement about what’s happening in the party when the top brass of the party is engaged in a war of words. Such things have happened before and since the Congress party is a democratic one, outbursts will happen and die down also,” said Shaju.