Kerala: Winners, losers point fingers at state Congress

In Thiruvananthapuram too, Shashi Tharoor hardly received any party support.
Indian National Congress flag used for representational purpose only
Indian National Congress flag used for representational purpose onlyPhoto | PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Hours after its stellar show in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress state leadership faced the wrath of its winning and losing candidates, who alleged major organisational lapses and lack of support from District Congress Committees (DCCs). Several senior leaders expressed resentment over poor party machinery.

The on-ground scenario in many constituencies too had been in stark contrast to the state leadership’s claim that the party worked as a team during the elections. Soon after the results, which saw him being pushed to the third spot, K Muraleedharan raised concerns about the poor support from Thrissur DCC.

“Of the 1,237 booth committees in Thrissur LS constituency, 200 did not have booth agents. We somehow managed to arrange people just to sign forms. That there was no organisational support was evident throughout the campaigning and on election day,” Muraleedharan told TNIE.

In Thiruvananthapuram too, Shashi Tharoor hardly received any party support. A handful of local youth leaders from the party’s booth and mandalam committees ran the show with Tharoor’s personal team. “In Thiruvananthapuram, there were no agents in at least 200 booth committees. This comprises 60 committees in capital city,” a source in Congress told TNIE.

No DCC backing, Sudhakaran and Adoor brought workers from outside

Sitting MP Adoor Prakash had been initially reluctant to defend his Attingal seat. Following this, party workers were not keen on taking up election work.

In fact, Adoor Prakash had to source workers from Konni to help him in Attingal. Sources said lack of local support led to him slogging in the constituency, and managing a victory by a mere 684 votes.

KPCC president K Sudhakaran, who contested and won from Kannur, was also not immune to organisational apathy in assembly constituencies like Dharmadom, and had to bring people from outside. Kasaragod too saw a dearth of party workers in Kalliasseri and Payyanur assembly constituencies, both CPM bastions. The situation was pathetic in Alappuzha, where 54 mandalam committees were unmanned. This meant the party had no workers in 54 panchayats in a constituency where K C Venugopal, AICC general secretary (organisation), was in the running.

A senior leader from Alappuzha denied there was any dearth of workers, but admitted to there being “some issues.”

“Of course, there are organisational lapses in certain areas in Alappuzha. However, it does not mean that booth and mandalam committees did not have workers,” he said. In-fighting in Congress had been evident even on June 4, the day of counting.

While many senior leaders, including UDF convener M M Hassan, CWC member Ramesh Chennithala and some general secretaries were at the party’s headquarters in Indira Bhavan, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, who was at his official residence in Cantonment House a few kilometres away, did not visit the HQ.

As per an AICC directive, all senior leaders should have been at the party HQ. However, a source close to Satheesan said the leader chose to stay at his official residence with other UDF leaders.

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