Rajya Sabha seat for IUML: Discontent brewing against Congress leadership

A large section of Congress leaders are gearing up to target the leadership immediately after the Lok Sabha election.
Indian National Congress flag used for representational purposes.
Indian National Congress flag used for representational purposes.(Photo | PTI)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the Opposition is trying to wriggle out of the third seat imbroglio created by IUML, the front leadership is badly missing the skills and tactics of a seasoned leader like Oommen Chandy. Even as the IUML demand for a third seat has been dragging on, the Congress camp fumes about lack of tactical approach by state Congress chief K Sudhakaran and Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan.

In the absence of Oommen Chandy, CWC leader AK Antony should have taken an active role, but he has distanced himself saying the state leadership is competent enough to tackle the situation. Satheesan offering the Rajya Sabha seat to IUML has not gone down well with many senior MPs.

The IUML leadership will be huddled in Malappuram on Wednesday to take a decision on accepting the offer. It’s learnt that Sudhakaran set his eyes on RS seat, but had not communicated it with anyone. He was caught unawares when Satheesan offered the seat to IUML.

A senior Congress leader told TNIE that usually it is the Congress central leadership that takes a call on RS seats. “Instead of taking a diplomatic and tactical approach, Satheesan succumbed to the pressure tactics of the Muslim League. Veteran leaders like K Karunakaran, A K Antony and Oommen Chandy would have dealt with the IUML’s tactics diplomatically. The problem is that there is a lack of communication between Sudhakaran and Satheesan which has affected the UDF allies as well,” said a senior Congress leader.

However, the Satheesan camp vehemently denied the allegation citing that the RS seat issue was taken up with AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, who was in Alappuzha when the bilateral talks were held in Aluva on Sunday. In 2012, when the fifth minister row in the Oommen Chandy government had snowballed into a major controversy, Chandy took the responsibility to resolve it. But this time, it needs to be seen how the party leadership will tackle the issue.

A large section of Congress leaders are gearing up to target the leadership immediately after the Lok Sabha election. “The IUML has gained strength over the past few years with many young leaders rising in its ranks. But sadly, their legacy has come down. The League leadership feels the absence of competent leaders like Oommen Chandy and Antony when it comes to handling the bilateral talks with finesse. It needs to be seen whether the IUML would be content with the RS seat. There are chances of the party insisting on Wayanad seat if Rahul Gandhi decides not to contest from there,” a senior Congress MP told TNIE.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express