The factional feud within the Congress in Kerala erupted again as Shashi Tharoor has begun the next leg of his tour in central Kerala, attending a series of events and meeting the Catholic Bishops.
Troubles erupted again in Congress at a time when it was felt that the controversies related to Tharoor’s Malabar tour had ended.
A section of Congress leaders openly came out against the Youth Congress event attended by Tharoor at Erattupetta in Kottayam on Saturday. While Kottayam DCC president Nattakom Suresh hit out at Tharoor, alleging that he was not informed about the MP’s visit to the district, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, MLA, skipped the Youth Congress programme. Nattakom Suresh said he would file a complaint to the party leadership.
Hundreds of grassroots-level party attended the Youth Congress event against fascism. Tharoor, who arrived in Kottayam to open the mega event of the Youth Congress, was given a rousing welcome in Erattupetta town. Hundreds of people participated in the procession at the night in the town.
Tharoor, further, was welcomed at a function organized to commemorate former KPCC president K M Chandy in Pala. Here at this function, former vice chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi University, Cyriac Thomas, the main organiser of the function, called Tharoor as the “dream chief minister.”
Prior to the public meeting at Erattupetta, Tharoor visited Bishop Mar Jose Pulickal, Catholic Diocese of Kanjirappally. It is learnt that he discussed with the Bishop, the current political developments in the state. This was followed by his meeting with Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt.
Responding to the complaint of the Kottayam DCC president that his programmes in Kottayam were not informed to the district committee, Tharoor said “I have been an MP for 14 years and it is a routine practice to intimate the DCC concerned during my visit there. There is no lapse on my part or my office regarding the Youth Congress programme in Erattupetta.”
Addressing a function at Bodhigram in Pathanamthitta on Sunday, Tharoor said the party needed to be united and there was no need for ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups in the Congress of Kerala.
Notably, Shashi Tharoor’s Malabar tour in the last month has created ripples in Congress politics in the state. He demonstrated to the party that he was not a Congress leader with no grassroots backing, as some leaders in Congress in the state might be thinking.
Meanwhile, The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has expressed displeasure over the open infighting by some Congress leaders over the events attended by Shashi Tharoor. The IUML said as a constituent of the United Democratic Front (UDF), headed by the Congress, it could not remain a silent witness to the controversies taking place in the major partner. IUML felt that disputes within the Congress would harm UDF as a whole.
Meanwhile, amid reports that Tharoor has been facing ire of the Latin Catholic community and the fishermen’s community for extending support to the Vizhinjam international seaport, he on Saturday came out against deploying Central forces at Vizhinjam to maintain law and in the area.
Speaking to media persons in Thiruvananthapuram, the MP said no central forces should be deployed at Vizhinjam to maintain law and in the area.