THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Veteran leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy sought the freezing of the ongoing Congress revamp in the state as the party’s national leadership has announced organisational elections.
Chandy, who met party president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday, also expressed his displeasure at the selective disciplinary action initiated by state chief K Sudhakaran against some leaders. He said the action was against the party constitution.
Sources said Chandy also sought clarity on the role of the political affairs committee (PAC) constituted by the Congress high command in 2016. According to him, that decision has been undermined by the new state leadership.
It is learnt that the concerns expressed by the senior leader will result in the constitution of a state-level disciplinary committee soon. Chandy’s meeting with Sonia at her residence, 10 Janpath, lasted for 30 minutes. His main demand was that the third leg of the revamp and the appointment of state secretaries should be put on hold. It is reliably learnt that Sonia expressed her helplessness as the party restructuring is currently going on in several states and Kerala alone cannot have a different policy.
‘Time for Chandy, Chennithala to hang up boots’
Chandy demanded that the two factional leaders should be taken into confidence before taking crucial decisions. “The PAC has been transformed into an advisory committee and it is not being convened regularly. “At the meeting of the newly formed state committee, Sudhakaran had said that the 23-member committee is the supreme body of the party where crucial decisions will be taken.
This has obviously not gone down well with several senior PAC leaders as they believe PAC is the top body of the party,” said a senior Congress leader. Raising the recent suspension of a few party leaders, Chandy said disciplinary action has to be initiated only as per the party’s constitution.
Already, the state leadership has submitted a list of members of the disciplinary committee to national general secretary in- charge of Kerala Tariq Anwar. On Wednesday, Anwar reached the state capital where he is scheduled to inaugurate the second leg of the party membership campaign at Poovar on Thursday evening. Ahead of Chandy’s meeting with Sonia, several leaders who owe allegiance to the state leadership shot off letters to Sonia against him.
Their grievance was that Chandy has donned the role of a rebel leader aimed at wrecking the party’s prospects. “For 17 years, Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala led their respective factions. Now they should realise that it is time to hang up their boots and pass on the buck to the next generation.
The central leadership will give a patient hearing to Chandy’s woes, but nothing favourable will come out of it as the incumbent leadership has been given a mandate to bring back the lost glory of the Congress”, said a senior Congress leader.
Chandy raises suspension point
Raising the recent suspension of a few party leaders, Chandy said disciplinary action has to be initiated only as per the party’s constitution. Already, the state leadership has submitted a list of members of the disciplinary committee to national general secretary in-charge Tariq Anwar