‘Congress in Kerala needs major surgery’

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Kozhikode (Kerala), July 16 (IANS) Congress leader K. Muraleedharan on Saturday said the party needs a “major surgery” in Kerala, following the rout in the recent assembly election.

“The defeat at the hustings was not a small one. The party is virtually crippled and minor treatments won’t help. A major surgery is required,” Muraleedharan said at a Congress meeting here, hinting at the discontent that has been brewing in the party since its defeat in the election.

Muraleedharan, who is son of the late Congress leader K. Karunakaran, said the party has been ineffective beyond the Assembly.

“Outside the Assembly, Congress is unable to make any impact. No serious protests are being organised by the party,” he said.

Observers here point out that Muraleedharan’s anger possibly has its roots in the unexpected defeat of his sister Padmaja Venugopal from Thrissur — which has been their father’s bastion for decades.

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Observers further said that state Congress President V.M. Sudheeran has been under fire for the party’s defeat. Sudheeran was appointed the party chief in Kerala by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in February 2014. His elevation had jolted both the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, the leaders of the two factions of the party.

After the Congress’s defeat, there has been a constant clamour for Sudheeran’s ouster. Some suggested that he should seek an honourable exit by resigning from the post. However, Sudheeran is still holding on to the post.

“The party high command had put the entire responsibility on the state leadership and they are responsible for the defeat,” senior party legislator V.D. Satheesan said in this context.

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