Decision on state Congress president already taken: Mullappally – The New Indian Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as senior leaders in Kerala have intensified lobbying for the KPCC president’s post, outgoing KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran told TNIE that the Congress high command has already taken a decision on his successor. Mullappally, who is not attending to his duties as he has already conveyed to AICC president Sonia Gandhi his decision to step down, remained tight-lipped when asked about the name of his successor. 

While K Sudhakaran, MP, continues to be the front-runner for the KPCC chief’s post, Chalakudy MP Benny Behanan, Attingal MP Adoor Prakash, Mavelikara MP Kodikkunnil Suresh and P T Thomas, MLA, are learnt to have expressed their claim for the post. It is learnt that different groups of senior leaders from Kerala have rallied behind them and conveyed their mind to central leadership. Among them, Benny Behanan enjoys the support of senior leaders from both A and I groups.

Meanwhile, in a surprise move, an emissary of former opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala met AICC general secretary K C Venugopal with a request to change his base from New Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram and take over as the president of KPCC. Immediately after the poll debacle, Mullappally submitted a comprehensive report on what led to the humiliating defeat. In the report, he said about the taxing role he had undertaken amid the factional leaders’ pressure politics where he was “sandwiched”. He had highlighted in his report about how he was not even allowed to appoint a booth president without their interference.  

“I take the complete responsibility on the poll drubbing and do not wish to pass the buck to anyone. My pedigree is different. I value self-respect and I am a man of principles. The million dollar question is who made the organisation weak. There is no point in continuing in office since I had already submitted my resignation”, said Mullappally.

“There are only two options before the Congress Central leadership. Sudhakaran should be given an opportunity to revive the party as he has the calibre. Everyone is critical of Sudhakaran’s style of functioning, but he should be given a chance to prove his mettle for a year at least. Several leaders had approached Venugopal pleading with him to take the mantle of the State Congress, but he has so far not replied favourably”, said a senior Congress leader.

Even as senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala’s letter to Congress acting president Sonia Gandhi in connection with his removal from the Opposition leader post further worsened the crisis in the state Congress, AICC general secretary and senior leader Oommen Chandy dismissed reports that the letter cited that his leadership distanced Hindu votes from the UDF. Speaking to mediapersons in Kottayam, Chandy said he wouldn’t think Ramesh might have mentioned any such matter in the letter. “I believe Ramesh wouldn’t write like that as he has a direct account of everything,” Chandy said. According to reports, Ramesh in his letter stated that party high command’s decision to appoint the election committee headed by Oommen Chandy alienated Hindu votes from the party and the UDF. 

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