THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Will VD Satheesan become the new Opposition leader in the state assembly? Reports coming in from New Delhi indicate the Congress high command will name the Paravoor MLA as its new legislative party leader, hoping that it would pave the way for a generation al shift. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is expected to announce the decision latest by Friday afternoon.
K Sudhakaran and P T Thomas are likely to become the Congress state chief and UDF convener, respectively.
Central observers Mallikarjun Kharge and V Vaithilingam, who held meetings with the 21 Congress MLAs, submitted their report to Sonia on Thursday evening. Sonia will discuss the matter with working committee leaders A K Antony, Oommen Chandy and K C Venugopal. While Chandy has rallied behind Ramesh Chennithala to continue in the post, Antony’s stand is not yet clear.
Venugopal, who is also the national general secretary (organisation), has been based in state capital since the party suffered the setback in the assembly polls and he has not made his stance clear either.
The Chennithala camp is still confident that the national leadership will continue to repose faith in a seasoned leader like him, particularly after doing an excellent job as the Opposition leader during last term.
“The views of three CWC leaders will be decisive. Even though the announcement was expected to be made on Thursday, it was deferred to Friday considering the swearing-in ceremony of the Pinarayi 2.0 government,” a senior leader told TNIE.
Satheesan camp claims support of 12 MLAs
Satheesan camp claims the support of 12 MLAs including four from ‘A’ group who have defied the diktat of the factional leaders. The delay in announcing the parliamentary party leader has not gone down well with a section of the senior Congress leaders including MPs. They feel it is high time the party leadership took a leaf out of the CPM, which took hardly three hours to zero in on its ministers at its secretariat meeting.
Meanwhile, the national leadership is expected to take a call on the future of state chief Mullappally Ramachandran only after the fact-finding team led by Ashok Chawan reaches the state after lockdown. Despite Ramesh Chennithala putting up a good show as Opposition leader, the poll drubbing has triggered a call for a replacement.