Finding successor no easy task for congress

None of the Chandy loyalists including M M Hassan, K C Joseph, Benny Behanan, Anto Antony and K Babu can replace Chandy as group leader.

Published: 20th July 2023 08:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2023 08:47 AM   |  A+A-

Public paying homage to former chief minister Oommen Chandy at Enathu near Adoor in Pathanamthitta. (Photo | Shaji Vettipuram)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite belonging to opposite camps within the Congress, Oommen Chandy turned out to be the true political heir to the late ‘Leader’ K Karunakaran. Two of the biggest crowd-pullers the party has ever seen, both shared rare people skills that not many leaders can boast of. The ease with which Chandy filled the vacuum left by Karunakaran in state Congress politics took many by surprise.   

With Chandy bidding adieu, the question now remains as to who could be his political heir in the true sense. Leave alone the Congress, there are hardly any leaders in the state, cutting across political lines, who possess the tactical skills, political shrewdness and mass appeal that these two had. Noticeably towards the fag end of his life, Chandy had endorsed Shashi Tharoor, pointed out a political observer.

Karunakaran was known for his astute political skills, administrative acumen, shrewdness and the pace with which he worked. Chandy matched up to him with his own set of skills. Coming up with the slogan ‘Athivegam Bahudooram’, Chandy was clearly following the fast pace with which Karunakaran initiated new projects and welfare schemes.

It’s going to be difficult to fill Chandy’s shoes, senior Congress leader and K Karunakaran’s son K Muraleedharan told TNIE. “Leader had ensured that Chandy succeeded him as his political heir apparent. Oommen Chandy’s vacuum can never be filled easily. During the Leader’s time second-generation leadership, especially leaders like Chandy, were nurtured in a fast manner. But the current crop of next-generation leaders cannot catch up with Chandy as they lack his acumen and leadership skills,” said Muraleedharan. 

Perhaps veteran leader A K Antony summed it up. “For Kerala and the Congress, there is no replacement for Oommen Chandy. If there’s anyone who can be equated with  Oommen Chandy, it’s Oommen Chandy only,” Antony had said on Tuesday. 

Even in A group, none of the Chandy loyalists including M M Hassan, K C Joseph, Benny Behanan, Anto Antony and K Babu can replace Chandy as group leader. Political observer Advocate A Jayasankar thinks that had Aryadan Mohammed been alive, he would have fit the bill as Chandy’s political successor. 

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