Rejects Cong clampdown on public statements, questions decision to give up RS seat for KC(M)
Virtually rejecting the party’s latest clamp down on public statements, former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V.M. Sudheeran confronted senior leaders of the Congress alleging that he had to resign from office because of torrid factionalism.
Addressing the media after coming out of a KPCC leadership meeting here, Mr. Sudheeran said he was a victim of the all-round attack from factional managers making it difficult for him to function.
Earlier, at the KPCC meeting, originally convened to evaluate the Chengannur byelection result, Mr. Sudheeran said factionalism was the reason for the defeat of the United Democratic Front in the 2016 Assembly election and this had been repeated in Chengannur. Mr. Sudheeran listed out one by one the factional decisions taken from time to time,
He questioned the incumbent leadership’s decision to give up the Rajya Sabha seat to the Kerala Congress (M) without any pre-condition, as had been adopted when the Revolutionary Socialist Party was admitted to the UDF and allotted the Kollam Lok Sabha seat in 2014.
He said KC(M) leader K.M. Mani had lost his credibility by bargaining with the LDF and the UDF. The Congress should have got a firm commitment from him. At one point of time, Mr. Sudheeran expressed annoyance when a couple of junior leaders tried to interrupt him by accusing him of weakening the UDF government during his term as KPCC president.
He said he cannot be cowed down by wielding the sword of discipline. The strong reactions against surrendering the RS seat would not have come if there had been proper discussions.
He also expressed his reservations at holding the meeting in the absence of Oommen Chandy, who is in Andhra Pradesh, and Ramesh Chennithala, who had other commitments.
Addressing a press conference soon after the meeting, KPCC president M.M. Hassan maintained that Congress factionalism was not the sole reason for the UDF’s miserable defeat in the byelection.
It had been decided to hold a two-day session of the political affairs committee and the KPCC leadership to hold a detailed discussions on the plans to strengthen the party, especially in the context of the Chengannur defeat.
Mr. Hassan admitted that the PAC and today’s meetings had witnessed strong criticism against the decision on the RS seat. “The criticism will be taken seriously. But the decision was taken in the best interest of the party and the coalition. Taking into consideration the general sentiments of the leaders and the workers, Mr. Chennithala and I have given an assurance that in future discussions will be held at the appropriate levels,” Mr. Hassan said.