THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition Leader V D Satheesan will yet again embark on a negotiation mission to pacify V M Sudheeran, who quit from the political affairs committee (PAC) of the party’s state unit on Saturday. Congress had entrusted Satheesan with a similar task after senior leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala revolted against the recent district leadership recast. AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar, who is in the city, may also talk to Sudheeran to clear his misunderstanding.
Sudheeran has upset the state leadership, which is working hard to transform the party into a semi-cadre one. As the controversy over the appointment of the district Congress chiefs has been settled, the leadership was hoping to present a united front while appointing other office-bearers for state and district committees.
In his letter to state Congress chief K Sudhakaran, Sudheeran is learnt to have complained about the lack of consultation within the party. The state leadership, however, said the resignation was on health grounds. The grapevine is that Sudheeran was peeved with Sudhakaran for not considering one of his loyalists for the post of Kollam district Congress chief. He did not want to step down immediately after the district chiefs were appointed and was waiting for an appropriate time.
Earlier, Sudheeran had stepped down from the UDF high-powered committee over the Rajya Sabha seat row which saw the UDF leadership giving the lone seat to Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani. His grievance is that even though the incumbent Congress leadership had sought his views on organisational revamping, he was not consulted in the crucial decision-making process at the end.
‘Sudheeran didn’t reveal reasons behind resignation’
“If earlier, Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala used to consult Sudheeran and give priority to their groups. Now Sudhakaran and Satheesan accept the probable list from them and handpick their favourites,” said a source close to Sudheeran. Another senior leader refuted this and said Sudheeran was unwilling to cooperate despite being extended an invitation to attend the district leaders’ camp in Thiruvananthapuram.
Reacting to the latest imbroglio, Sudhakaran said in Kannur that all senior leaders were consulted during decision making. “The allegation that the Congress leadership is not holding talks with the senior leaders is baseless. The leadership is not at fault. I spoke to Sudheeran over the phone and he did not reveal the reasons behind his resignation. We have not decided to remove any senior leader from the PAC. Senior leaders like Mullapally Ramachandran will not respond to phone calls,” said Sudhakaran.
Satheesan termed the resignation unfortunate and said he would meet Sudheeran in person. Chandy said a leader like Sudheeran should not have quit the PAC. Along with the reorganisation of the state Congress unit, the leadership was mulling to bring in new members into the PAC in place of veterans like Aryadan Mohammed, C V Padmarajan and Thennala Balakrishna Pillai. However, the leadership wants to retain Sudheeran and Mullappally as the national leadership is of the view that both of them can act as corrective forces in the party.