THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy reached New Delhi on Tuesday to meet party president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday and convey his strong displeasure against the incumbent state leadership for not taking the factional leaders into confidence.
The veteran leader, who had been upset with the reorganisation, got antagonised further when his staunch loyalist M A Latheef was suspended from the party last week. The ‘A’ group supremo had given a 10-member list of his loyalists to be included in the recently revamped state committee and executive committee.
Chandy’s main complaint was that state Congress chief K Sudhakaran did not consult him before he submitted his list before the Congress high command. Many of his loyalists were sidelined and included only in the state executive. Being a loyal party leader, Chandy did not speak about his grievance in public or in media.
Chandy meets Anwar and Antony
On Tuesday, Oommen Chandy held talks with CWC member A K Antony and national general secretary in-charge of the state Tariq Anwar. Chandy was guarded in his reply when TNIE asked about his mission. “Being the national general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, I had to hold talks with central leaders.
Along with that, I took up the organisational matters relating to my home state. I will be meeting Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday at 11.30am,” said Chandy. Sources said the senior leader will also take up the issue of Sudhakaran not convening the high power political affairs committee with Sonia. Apart from the suspension of Latheef, who is a popular leader in Thiruvananthapuram, Chandy is peeved at Sudhakaran for the suspension of two of his close loyalists based in Dubai and Qatar.
Recently, Opposition Leader V D Satheesan and his predecessor Ramesh Chennithala were in the UAE to attend various party meetings under the aegis of Overseas Indian Cultural Congress (OICC) and Indian Cultural and Arts Society (INCAS). Since INCAS has not got official recognition from the UAE government, Satheesan’s programme was cancelled.
But Chennithala who got there a day earlier could attend the programme. An office-bearer of OICC told TNIE from Dubai that Satheesan was offended with the turn of events. “The state Congress leadership has been misinformed that it was Dubai chapter of INCAS central committee vice-president Punnakkan Muhammad Ali who played spoilsport.
This led to his suspension. He had been instrumental in the formation of INCAS in Dubai which has done yeomen service to the Malayali diaspora. Another central committee vice-president Jopachan based in Qatar was also suspended by the party which too has not gone down well with Chandy,” said an OICC office-bearer.