Amid rift, Cong in Kerala to tread carefully

Amid the growing rift within the Congress in Kerala, the newly appointed Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan and the party’s state unit chief K. Sudhakaran are now looking at taking the veteran duo of Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala into confidence.

Breaking the ice, Satheesan spoke to Chennithala and the former is expected to talk with Chandy, as the allies in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) are ‘not pleased’ with the recent developments in the party.

A ‘crucial’ UDF meeting is scheduled for September 6.

Trouble broke out late last month when Satheesan and Sudhakaran ignored the veteran duo’s recommendations on the appointment of 14 district party presidents.

A media critic on condition of anonymity said the cardinal mistake, which the Satheesan-Sudhakaran combine did, was to sideline the seasoned veteran duo.

“They thought with the support of the party high command they could just bulldoze Chandy and Chennithala. The turn of events after naming the 14 district presidents created a lot of bad blood in the party with a huge section of the party leaders turning against the new state leadership,” the critic noted.

“Chandy and Chennithala at the moment do not have any post other than being senior legislators and now, after the big mouthed rather immature statements by the new leadership, the support for Chandy and Chennithala saw a rise.”

“Now realising that mistake, both Satheesan and Sudhakaran were forced to go public by saying that they will discuss with the seasoned veterans, which in terms has come as a victory for the veterans,” elaborated the critic.

Now with the new set of party office bearers to be announced very soon, all eyes are on how it will pan out. The likelihood of reduction in the total number of seats in the organisational structure by almost half, it remains to be seen if Satheesan and Sudhakaran will have a free run or will Chandy and Chennithala extract their pound of flesh.