THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dispute between leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan and the INTUC state leadership over the nature of affiliation of INTUC with the parent Congress party has come up before the central leadership for resolution. The statement of Satheesan on the day after the general strike that INTUC was not a feeder organisation of the Congress has irked the union leaders who have come out with statements countering Satheesan.
Trade union workers also took out protest marches in Changanassery and Kazhakootam against Satheesan. Even though Satheesan decided not to escalate the issue, State Congress president K Sudhakaran has brought it to the attention of national president Sonia Gandhi.
Satheesan and INTUC state president R Chandrasekharan had shared a good camaraderie. But the latter felt antagonised when Satheesan snubbed the trade union. According to the constitution of the Congress, the frontal organisations are Youth Congress, National Students Union of India, Mahila Congress and Sevadal. INTUC has always been considered a separate entity of the Congress.
The trade union having a strength of 17.36 lakh forms the core support base of Congress. Satheesan told TNIE that as the leader of the Opposition, he cannot endorse the violence initiated by trade union activists.
“It is unfortunate that they have targeted me when I have been holding the maximum number of office-bearer posts, after senior leaders like Vayalar Ravi and Oommen Chandy, in various sectors belonging to the INTUC, “ said Satheesan, adding that the issue is a closed chapter.
However, at the online meeting of state Congress office-bearers and district Congress chiefs called by Sudhakaran, the majority of them sought action against Chandrasekharan. A top INTUC leader told TNIE that the ultimate aim is to strengthen the labour force and also the Congress.
“The labourers under the INTUC may not have gone through its constitution. For them, being a part of the INTUC is a matter of sentimental value. So the top leadership of the Congress should not have disowned the trade union workers openly”, said the leader.