THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Central Congress leadership has decided to send Mallikarjun Kharge, Opposition Leader in Rajya Sabha, and V Vaithilingam, Puducherry MP, to the state as observers to choose the next parliamentary party leader. A peeved Congress state president Mullappally Ramachandran has approached the Congress high command expressing his strong displeasure against the one-sided protests targeting him in the poll drubbing.
The 21-member political affairs committee meeting will be huddled at Indira Bhavan on Friday at 10 am to take stock of the poll outcome which is expected to be stormy. Initially, the observers were expected to arrive in the capital city next week to hold talks with the 21 Congress MLAs as well as with the DCC office-bearers. But with announcement of statewide lockdown from May 9 - 16 coming by afternoon, there was a slight confusion on their arrival.
However, party sources in New Delhi said that in all likelihood the meeting will be held online. The new government’s swearing-in ceremony is scheduled on May 20. So a decision on the Congress parliamentary party leader will be taken only closer towards that date. Even though the observers have been assigned to choose the parliamentary party leader, they are also expected to take stock of the poll outcome and efforts to revive the party.
“The PAC meeting will see for the first time the leaders raising their concerns on the poll debacle where Mullappally will be targeted. But rather than going on a mudslinging match, it will be better to take steps to restructure the party including strengthening it at the grass root level”, a PAC member told TNIE. The PAC member’s grievance against Mullappally is that he failed in communicating things properly, even before the polls, thereby complicating things further. Mullappally has been fuming after a group of youths protested in front of Indira Bhavan on Thursday with a banner criticising top brass of the party.