PALAKKAD: The report by the UDF sub-committee constituted to go into the reasons for the humiliating defeat of Janata Dal (United) leader M P Veerendrakumar from the Palakkad Lok Sabha constituency, if accepted by the KPCC, could witness an organisational reshuffle in the district committee of the Congress. The report is said to have been submitted by sub-committee convener Thankachan to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
The committee, led by Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai, had received representations from UDF activists from all Assembly constituencies. The committee had held sittings in July 2014 and collected evidence from grassroot workers and MLAs. Other than Pillai and UDF convener Thankachan, Kerala Congress (M) leader Joy P Abraham, SJ(D) leader Sheikh P Haris and Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader Johny Nelloor were part of the sitting.
Going by the information from political sources, DCC president C V Balachandran, KPCC secretary C Chandran and DCC general secretary P Balagopal have been named in the report as being responsible for the defeat.
Balachandran said he would not like to comment on speculations and let the UDF sub-committee first submit the report to the Chief Minister.
“If my name is there in the report, it has also to be stated as to what I had done to defeat the candidate. The KPCC executive committee which will be held in Thiruvananthapuram on May 9 will not discuss the issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the KPCC has already served a showcause notice on DCC general secretary P Balagopal for accompanying the controversial businessman V M Radhakrishnan on a pleasure trip to Goa. The notice served by KPCC asks him to reply within seven days. The name of the businessman had figured in some Vigilance case filed with regard to deals with Malabar Cements Ltd and also in the death of former company secretary Sasindran and his two children. The showcause notice was served based on the report submitted by KPCC general secretary K P Anil Kumar.
Former DCC president A V Gopinath said the contents of the report were widely speculated in the media and it would be better to wait for the official version.
Meanwhile, DCC president C V Balachandran had been appointed to the post as he was part of the ‘I’ group. Therefore, if there were efforts to ease him out in the name of the UDF sub-committee report, the ‘I’ Group could stake claim. The ‘I’ group does not have any senior leader and will be able to project only KPCC secretary V K Sreekantan.
Former MP V S Vijayaraghavan who belongs to the Vayalar Ravi camp feels that in such an event, he could emerge as the consensus candidate of the ‘I’ and ‘A’ factions for the post. However, Congress leaders themselves admit that the leaders having organisational acumen in the district were former DCC president A V Gopinath and K Achuthan MLA.
In the background of the poor turnout at the Janapaksha Yathra led by V M Sudheeran, the KPCC had suspended DCC general secretary P C Baby and Block Congress president N K Raghothaman.