Youth Congress president election fiasco leaves party red-faced in Kerala

A source close to Congress state president K Sudhakaran told TNIE that he is not keen to intervene in the affairs of the YC president election as it was managed by the All-India YC leadership.

Published: 19th November 2023 11:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2023 11:29 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major embarrassment to the Congress leadership, the imbroglio over the fake vote issue in the Youth Congress state president election has snowballed into a major controversy. The leadership’s stoic silence says it all, and the damage allegedly inflicted by the YC leadership has created a black mark on the party at a time when they were on a song against the LDF government’s corrupt practices. 

Already incumbent YC state president Shafi Parambil is facing flak from various quarters for not rising up to the occasion when the LDF government conducted the Keraleeyam ‘extravaganza’, and is going ahead with the Nava Kerala Sadas. The party leadership is maintaining a stoic silence on the fake ID card issue as it has brought shame at the most inopportune time. 

A source close to Congress state president K Sudhakaran told TNIE that he is not keen to intervene in the affairs of the YC president election as it was managed by the All-India YC leadership.

“As KPCC president, Sudhakaran is aware of the controversy. But the ball is in the court of the AIYC leadership to find out the veracity behind the controversy. Hence, he has decided to stay away from the matter,” the source said.

As Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan is away in the UK, he is yet to comment on the issue. However, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala told TNIE, “If there were any discrepancies on the membership enrolment, let the authorities probe it”. Speculation is rife that YC national president B V Srinivas has sought a report from Shafi on the controversy which has seen the DYFI and Yuva Morcha taking it up politically. 

TNIE tried to contact Srinivas for his reaction and also AICC secretary in charge of the YC, Krishna Allavaru. But they also decided to remain mum. TNIE also spoke to K C Venugopal, AICC general secretary (organization), who feigned ignorance about a probe being conducted into the fake votes. More than half a dozen YC leaders included in the new committee have since approached the party national leadership where they are allegedly upset about the unwarranted controversy. Abin Varkey Kodiyattu, who was pushed to the second position behind Rahul Mamkoottathil in the recent YC presidential election, told TNIE that there were complaints galore on the poll.

“At least four vice-presidents belonging to Thiruvananthapuram district and also from Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam have since approached the central leadership against the bogus votes. There has been a delay in holding the interview by the national leadership to elect the YC state president due to the controversy,” said Abin.

TNIE spoke to YC Thiruvananthapuram district secretary Bahul Krishna, one of the complainants. He said that the central leadership has been flooded with complaints on the missing votes and also about the 2 lakh plus invalid votes.

Fake ID: State police begin probe

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The police have registered a case for allegedly forging ID cards in connection with the Youth Congress organisational elections in the state. The case has been registered by the Museum police in the city under various sections of the Forgery and IT (Information Technology) Act based on a complaint lodged by DYFI activists. Meanwhile, a special investigation team comprising eight members led by Thiruvananthapuram DCP Nithin Raj has been constituted to probe the case based on a complaint filed by state BJP leadership to the DGP. 

The state police chief has instructed the team to submit a report after conducting a preliminary investigation within four days. The BJP has also filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India. 
As per the complaints, the Youth Congress activists had created fake identity cards for voting in the Youth Congress organisational elections with the knowledge of senior Congress leaders, K C Venugopal and V D Satheesan. 

It was alleged that the party created 1.25 lakh fake identity cards using various mobile apps. Police said they will conduct a preliminary probe into the complaints and record statements from the complainants as well as the Youth Congress leaders.

DCP Nithin Raj told TNIE that efforts are on to identify all those involved in the scam. “We are investigating who developed the app, who distributed the ID cards, and who created it. We are extracting the data with the help of our cyber team, and the investigation is being held after taking all aspects into consideration. We expect a breakthrough soon,” he said.

It is learned that the fraud came to light following the internal issues in the YC elections. The case has been registered under Sections 465 and 467 (forgery) , 420 (cheating) of the IPC and relevant sections of the IT Act.

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