THIRUVANANTHAPURAM /KOZHIKODE:The reverberations of the statements of KPCC vice-president V D Satheesan MLA the other day, which called for corrective measures in governance and re-defining priorities of the Oommen Chandy Government, has triggered a fresh round of group war in the state Congress unit.
The slugfest on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the UDF Government attained a high pitch on ‘A’ and ‘I’ faction lines. Respective group managers were engaged in verbal fights on Saturday, forcing Congress CWC member A K Antony to appeal for unity and bury all differences while KPCC chief V M Sudheeran barred public statements of party leaders.
Rural Development Minister K C Joseph kicked off the verbal attack on Saturday, by stating that Satheesan needn’t act like the party high command. Joseph also reminded that Satheesan was only one among the six vice-presidents of KPCC. Bowling for the chief minister, Joseph also found nothing wrong with the functioning of the government.
AICC secretary and MP Kodikunnil Suresh had blamed Satheesan earlier in the day and charged that the latter was nursing ambitions to attain seat of power, and is thereby pursuing an agenda. A furious Satheesan shot back that those who had turned against him are living in some other world by finding no fault with the functioning of the Chandy government.‘’Those who are lacking in courage to speak out against A K Antony for his remarks on all prevalent corruption in the state have come out against me. The main issue is what Antony had mentioned - corruption. And what we both said is one and the same. A new image is essential for the UDF Government to prevent the destruction of Congress,” Satheesan said. He further raked up old rifts by reminding that those leaders who have now taken umbrage over his statement were part of the team who had ‘’staged’’ a coup against the late K Karunakaran directly and “unseated’’ A K Antony from the chief minister post through indirect means.
“Maybe, they have a feeling of guilt which is reflected in their words,’’ Satheesan reacted in Kozhikode.
Satheesan asserted that he had not demanded a leadership change in the government as was claimed by some people. “Let those who criticise me watch the TV interview first. I have specifically maintained that there is no need for any cabinet revamp and Chandy is the most hardworking chief minister in the country. The only point I have raised is that the government is in a vulnerable position since the Lok Sabha polls, owing to one issue after the other.
Corrective measures are needed to instill confidence among Congress workers and face the polls ahead. But the fear of a few is that criticising the flaws of the leadership is intended to pull strings for a change,’’ Satheesan said, and asserted that he would continue to air his opinion.
“Ask a common man or party worker in the streets on where the government stands. What I’m trying to put across is their sentiments. And I’m saying this for making the organisation vibrant and ensure continuation of the Congress-led government in the state,’’ Satheesan said. Meanwhile, while the Congress internal war was picking up, RSP general secretary A A Azeez has turned down the overtures of CPM secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. He said that it was in the CPM-led camp, that RSP had faced insults and humiliation.
Ajay Tharayil Backs Satheesan
KPCC spokesperson Ajay Tharayil came out in support of Satheesan and criticised attempts to isolate him. However, Ajay’s mentor Vayalar Ravi MP gave good marks for the Oommen Chandy Government and opined that there is no need for any leadership change. The former union minister also said that the topic of corruption was nothing new to be discussed.