Satheesan and Chennithala mend ties over breakfast amid Congress factionalism

The equation between them soured after Chennithala was not invited to the May 25 UDF meeting
Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala , Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan
Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala , Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan(Photo |EPS )

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Signalling a thaw in their frosty relationship within the faction-ridden Congress, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan took the initiative to pacify senior leader Ramesh Chennithala, who was feeling sidelined after being kept in the dark about a recent UDF meeting. In an obvious move to put up a united face, Satheesan visited the Congress Working Committee (CWC) member at his home on Monday where they had breakfast together.

Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala , Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan
Ramesh Chennithala finds himself sidelined in Kerala's Congress

The equation between the two soured after Chennithala was not invited to the UDF meeting at Cantonment House on May 25. TNIE had earlier reported how a communication gap between the two official staff had led to Chennithala missing the event.

On May 23, Chennithala flew to Saudi Arabia for a day-long programme. But when he realised that he had not been extended an invite for the UDF meeting, either by Satheesan or UDF convenor M M Hassan, he decided to stay back in the region.

To make matters worse, Chennithala was not invited to speak at the joint meeting of the UDF coordination committee and MPs held last Friday. A sulking Chennithala left in a huff without even having dinner.

A source close to Satheesan said there was no deliberate attempts to sideline Chennithala. “Satheesan was keen to reconcile with Chennithala and clear the air of any misunderstandings about the communication gap in conveying meeting schedules. He called up Chennithala and the two decided to meet for breakfast at the latter’s home on Monday.

"The meeting lasted 20 minutes,” the source told TNIE. With by-elections to Wayanad Lok Sabha and two assembly seats in the offing, the top brass is keen to present to the party rank and file a picture of unity. It was a united front that ensured a thumping victory in the recent Lok Sabha election.

According to another source, Chennithala was miffed with Satheesan, but had not shared his displeasure openly. “With Satheesan deciding to make amends, Chennithala was mighty pleased that he took the initiative to resolve the issues. All’s well that ends well,” said a source.

The two leaders proceeded to attend the assembly session after their breakfast meeting.

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