New Cong leaders in Kerala to approach high command against Chandy, Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 30 (IANS) The new leadership of the Congress party in Kerala — V.D. Satheesan and K. Sudhakaran — has decided to take the fight into the enemy camp and has decided to approach the party high command against veterans Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, after they failed to turn up for Monday’s UDF meeting.Both Chandy and Chennithala are former chairmen of the UDF and the two have been waging a joint battle against the new leadership, after feeling that they have been sidelined.A source in the know of things revealed that Sudhakaran, presently the Lok Sabha member from Kannur, has already taken it up with the high command through the AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala, Tariq Anwar and Satheesan has also decided to do the same.The new leadership is upset because the internal problems in the Congress are now being dragged into the United Democratic Front, which the Congress leads. Many of the allies through their close association with Chandy and Chennithala for more than two decades are more comfortable with them than with Satheesan and Sudhakaran, as they were never in the picture at all till they assumed office after the April 6 assembly poll debacle.But Sudhakaran, trying to play down the differences, told newspersons on Tuesday that the media need not try to add spice to the happenings in their party as they are capable of resolving whatever issues come up.A media analyst on condition of anonymity said things at the moment appear very bleak for the Congress party in Kerala and this infighting is what led to the party’s mauling in the assembly polls – something that has not happened before.”The fact of the matter is both Chandy and Chennithala were at the helm of affairs for the past nearly quarter of a century and they fought one another and at times for their own benefit they got together also, when they wanted to keep out some leaders. Today there is a new leadership and it’s quite natural that they will have their own strategy. When Chandy reigned supreme, all knew K. Karunakaran, who was the all supreme leader till the mid nineties was sidelined by Chandy. So if better sense prevails among the top leadership, the direct beneficiary will be the Congress party. The party in the past one decade has failed to get any support from the new generation voters and if the leadership fails to see this, they will be the losers,” he said. Ever since Satheesan and Sudhakaran took over, some of those aligned with Chandy and Chennithala started to drift away from them and have joined the new leadership. With A.K. Antony in the winter of his political career and the rise of K.C. Venugopal in Delhi is also a cause of worry for Chandy and Chennithala, as he favours the new leadership.–IANSsg/bg

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