THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state Congress, which will hold discussions on revamping its state committee office-bearers post the Lok Sabha poll outcome on May 23, is expected to give increased representation to women in the new committee. Though women leaders have only minor representation in the party at present, the state Congress fielded two women candidates for the LS polls. This was on par with the number of women candidates put up by the LDF.
The political affairs committee of the state Congress which met on May 14 had a threadbare discussion on the constitution of the new state committee, with KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran preferring the formation of a pruned, professional and properly-working committee. His suggestions were seconded by almost all the senior leaders, including Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy who have specific group affiliations.
Another major suggestion which the party leadership put forward was the inclusion of more women in the committee. “Congress is a political party which gives adequate representation to women. Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have clearly mentioned that once the party comes to power at the Centre, the Women’s Reservation Bill will be passed. So the party has no other choice but to set a model by accommodating more women in the party,” a senior Congress leader told Express.
Meanwhile, Mullappally Ramachandran said the revamp is imminent and the process will begin after the general election results are out. “The process will be completed by July. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is for more women representation and also not for a jumbo committee. These aspects will be considered while forming the final list,” Mullappally told Express.
The AICC leadership is keen that the party machinery is in full swing before the panchayat election process starts. It does not want to repeat the double entries in the voters’ list and other electioneering issues owing to the party machinery’s failure to act properly much before the list is released. Several leaders are of the opinion that even if the Congress-led UDF gets a windfall in the elections, it will not be owing to the party machinery but the people’s anger against both the Pinarayi and Narendra Modi Governments.
“The party machinery has to be strengthened from the grassroots. The electioneering process starts much earlier and we have to be prepared for it,” said P J Kurien, former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile, the women leaders in the state Congress have wholeheartedly welcomed the move by the party leadership to include more women in the state committee.
“More women representation is required at all levels for the party to be a fighting force and to have acceptance among all sections,” said Bindu Krishna, Kollam DCC president.