Congress ‘A’ faction meets in Aluva; YC leaders raise dist prez poll issue

According to a party source, the general feeling in the ‘A’ faction is that if they remain silent, they would face severe damage. 
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.

KOCHI:  While resentment continues to grow within the Congress over the election of Youth Congress functionaries and the appointment of party mandalam presidents, leaders of the ‘A’ faction held a meeting in Aluva on Monday indicating that several senior leaders are dissatisfied with the party’s organisational affairs. 

The immediate reason for the meeting was the inadequate representation for the group in the ongoing election of party mandalam presidents. However, party insiders said that with the passing of former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the faction has lost its head and is now trying to regain its influence within the party. Many leaders fear their sympathisers will defect to other factions led by K Sudhakaran and V D Satheesan.

Top leaders such as Benny Behanan, MP, K Babu, MLA, Aluva Municipal Chairman M O John and former Kochi Mayor Tony Chammini attended the meeting held at the Aluva YMCA hall. The Youth Congress leaders who attended the meeting expressed their discontent over the election of Sijo Joseph – a nominee of the ‘I’ faction headed by Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan -- as the Ernakulam district president. Sijo, who finished second behind ‘A’ group leader P H Anoop, was declared the winner after the election result was put on hold following allegations that Anoop and Sijo were involved in criminal cases. The ‘A’ group leaders alleged that Sijo was accused in a cheating case and should not be appointed as the district president.

The meeting alleged the faction headed by Satheesan is unilaterally wresting the mandalam committees held by the ‘A’ group. Ernakulam is one of ‘I’ group’s most influential districts. But this Youth Congress elections, the ‘A’ group secured several posts in the district, including the district president. In the mandalam president elections, the ‘A’ group lost about 20 mandalams, wrested by the ‘I’ faction. Many alleged the nominees of Aluva MLA Anwar Sadath were appointed mandalam presidents in several mandalams under the Aluva assembly constituency.

According to a party source, the general feeling in the ‘A’ faction is that if they remain silent, they would face severe damage. 

“Hence, they held the group meetings. Similar meetings were held in Thrissur and Malappuram earlier,” the source added.

Meanwhile, Benny Behanan, MP, denied that it was a factional meeting. He said it was a meeting intended to strengthen the Congress. 

“It was not a group meeting. The meeting was convened to strengthen the party. We have discussed the issues in the organisation and the suggestions to strengthen the outfit. We will convey this to the leadership and are optimistic the party leadership will resolve the issues,” he said.

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