Thrissur Congress leaders step down amid internal fights post-election defeat

Congress leader K Muraleedharan, who contested from the Thrissur LS seat, finished third after BJP's Suresh Gopi and CPI's V S Sunil Kumar.
Thrissur DCC president Jose Vallur being recieved with great enthusiasm by his followers.
Thrissur DCC president Jose Vallur being recieved with great enthusiasm by his followers. (Photo| Special arrangement.)

THRISSUR: Following the severe clash between two groups of Congress workers after the loss of K Muraleedharan in the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat, District Congress Committee (DCC) president Jose Vallur and UDF district chairman M P Vincent resigned from their posts, taking the responsibility for the loss.

Congress candidate K Muraleedharan finished third in the election after BJP's Suresh Gopi and CPI's V S Sunil Kumar in Thrissur. However, the Congress-led UDF won 18 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Following the election debacle, Congress workers had clashed in the DCC office on Saturday. On Monday, as per the instructions from Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) leaders, Vallur and Vincent announced their resignations from their respective posts.

Meanwhile, upset on the development, the supporters of the two Congress leaders said it was not an individual's responsibility to ensure the LS win in a key seat. They said Jose Vallur was made a scapegoat for others' faults, indirectly blaming T N Prathapan, who was the sitting MP of Thrissur and chairman of the election campaign committee, for the loss of Muraleedharan. While Vincent announced the resignation to the media and the workers, Vallur announced it in a DCC meeting held in the Thrissur office on Monday. He refrained from talking to the the media or making any public statements.

Many Congress workers who support Vallur, has come out against the decision. It was the clash between Congress workers and the report on the election loss, where Congress finished behind BJP and CPM, that led to the KPCC's directive asking Vallur to step down.

On Saturday, the DCC office in Thrissur witnessed a ruckus after two groups of Congress workers literally attacking each other. Sajeevan Kuriachira, a close associate of Muraleedharan had come out against Vallur alleging that his supporters attacked him when he visited the DCC office.

Police registered a case in the clash. Meanwhile, posters continued to appear against various Congress leaders in Thrissur.

Thrissur DCC president Jose Vallur being recieved with great enthusiasm by his followers.
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