Antony-led panel to recommend action against Thomas: KC Venugopal

General Secretary (Organisation) of the Congress, K.C. Venugopal on Sunday said that the party’s disciplinary action committee led by senior leader A.K. Antony will recommend action against Prof. K.V. Thomas.

While speaking to reporters in Kannur, Venugopal said the final decision on the basis of a recommendation from the disciplinary committee will be taken by party president Sonia Gandhi.

He said K.V. Thomas is a member of the party and action against him has to be taken by the party president on the recommendation of the disciplinary committee.

The Congress leaders from Kerala have been calling for Thomas’s immediate removal following his participation in a seminar on Centre-state relations held as part of the 23rd party congress of the CPI-M.

State Congress president K. Sudhakaran, Opposition leader V.D. Satheesan, former opposition leader, Ramesh Chennithala and several leaders have called for the immediate removal of K.V.Thomas from the party.

The CPI-M had as part of its 23rd party Congress invited Dr.Shashi Tharoor and Prof. K.V. Thomas to participate in the seminar on Centre-state relations. K. Sudhakaran immediately informed both the leaders not to participate and even the party president Sonia Gandhi intervened in the matter and told the leaders not to participate. While Shashi Tharoor backed out, K.V. Thomas decided to go ahead with the seminar.

Thomas, while participating in the seminar on Saturday, showered praises on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and said that he was supportive of the controversial K-Rail project of the LDF government in Kerala against which the opposition Congress has been relentlessly campaigning.

Immediately after the seminar, Sudhakaran shot off a letter to Sonia Gandhi recommending removal of K.V.Thomas from the party.

K.C. Venugopal while speaking to IANS said, “Congress is an All India party and in local issues, the party listens to the recommendations of the state leadership. In Kerala, the Congress is engaged in a bitter political fight with the CPI-M, and a Congress leader attending a CPI-M seminar will give the wrong message to the society and party cadres. Also, the CPI-M should have given an invitation to the Congress party and it was the party that should recommend the names of the participants in the seminar.”

He also said that even in Telangana the local Congressmen are against K. Chandrashekara Rao and his TRS, and the AICC while taking a decision on Telangana always takes the opinion of the local leadership.

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