THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ‘I’ group of the Congress party is plagued with internal bickering following stiff opposition by its leader Ramesh Chennithala to the ‘One man, One post’ stand taken by party state chief Mullappally Ramachandran in the party revamp.
Chennithala, it is learnt, has been pressing to give the post of working president to Thiruvananthapuram MLA VS Sivakumar, who is considered his close associate, in the KPCC. The opposition leader is also pushing for party positions to VD Satheesan, AP Anilkumar, Adoor Prakash and K Sudhakaran, who are all holding parliamentary positions.
Interestingly, the ‘A’ group led by AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy and party deputy leader in the state assembly K C Joseph supported the political position adopted by Mullappally.
Several ‘I’ group leaders are of the opinion that Chennithala should not have proposed the name of the party leaders who are holding parliamentary positions as this would scuttle the opportunity of other leaders who would be sidelined once the revamp is over. “Ramesh is wilting under pressure from a section of the leaders who want to enjoy the party positions as well as continue with the parliamentary positions,” a senior party leader identified with the ‘I’ group told Express.
K Muraleedharan who is a strong leader of the ‘I’ group had already expressed his resentment openly on the intention to accommodate party leaders holding parliamentary positions. He had also openly said that he doesn’t have any name to recommend to be considered as a party office-bearer. With a heavyweight leader like Muraleedharan coming out against the avowed position of the ‘I’ group, it will put extra pressure on Chennithala.
Several senior leaders of the ‘I’ group who have been waiting for party accommodation are disappointed and many of these leaders have complained to Chennithala privately.
However, these leaders say their senior leader, who had listened patiently to their complaints, had not taken any positive stand on the matter. Many are emboldened on the position assumed by Muraleedharan and may come out in the open.
“Chennithala has to accommodate senior leaders who are now not part of parliamentary politics and this will give a combination of leadership which will be of advantage to the party and it is to be remembered that there are commitments he had given to several leaders which have not yet been met,” a senior ‘I’ group leader told Express.
A K Antony backs Mullappally
Congress Working Committee member A K Antony has thrown his weight behind KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran on his suggestion of ‘One man, one post’ and this has also led to the estranged ‘I’ group leaders to voice their opinion. With Antony, Chandy, K Muraleedharan and Mullappally pushing for ‘One man, one post’, Chennithala will remain isolated and several leaders of the ‘I’ group are supporting this move silently. Another complaint raised by many ‘I’ group leaders is that Sivakumar is slowly emerging as the leader of the group to which there is stringent opposition.