THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was for the first time in the history of the state Congress that its president has given adequate prominence to his three deputies, all working presidents, while finalising the list of the party district committee presidents.
Initially, Opposition Leader VD Satheesan was sceptical to take them into confidence, but state president K Sudhakaran convinced him about taking them along which saw them getting an equal role in the decision-making process.When Sudhakaran was the working president, then state Congress head Mullappally Ramachandran had never given him due consideration.
It was during his tenure as the Congress national president during 2018 that Rahul Gandhi appointed then M I Shanavas, Kodikunnil Suresh and Sudhakaran as working presidents. But the trio was upset with Mullappally for never taking them into confidence. Later, Congress leader KV Thomas was also promoted as a working president. When Sudhakaran was made the state head, he ensured that his deputies got the consideration that he was denied.
The three working presidents under him are MP Kodikunnil Suresh and MLAs PT Thomas and T Siddique. At the same time, the managers of the two prominent groups have realised that their leaders are not getting the same prominence as the working presidents. The convention was that the two factions would divide the party positions equally. But ever since Sudakaran and Satheesan came to the helm of the party, they have been given strict instructions to end factionalism in the state unit.
“None expected Sudhakaran to take his three deputies into confidence. Whenever Satheesan and he held talks with Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala and also with political affairs committee members and MLAs at Indira Bhavan here, the trio was with them. This has obviously not gone down well with the faction leaders. In fact, the working presidents are no longer attached to either of the groups and they are happy with the recognition and have been giving maximum output,” a leader close to Sudhakaran told TNIE.
Meanwhile, the wholehearted support Rahul Gandhi has given to the state leadership has given them the much-needed impetus to expedite the list of DCC presidents. Sudhakaran and Satheesan have realised that whatever decisions they take, the Congress high command will not bypass them. The factional leaders and other senior leaders are shocked that they had not been given a chance to see the draft list.
“The central leadership will not make any amendments in the submitted list. The ploy of the group leaders and their managers was to keep the state leadership a puppet in their hands through pressure tactics, which has not worked this time,” a top Congress leader told TNIE.