Decks cleared for Kannur Cong veteran Sudhakaran as new president


Barring any last minute hiccups, decks have been cleared for Kannur Congress veteran K. Sudhakaran to be appointed as the new party president of Kerala.

Mullapally Ramachandran has put in his papers after the April 6 assembly polls debacle.

The 73-year-old Sudhakaran is a four time legislator and is presently in his second term as Lok Sabha member from Kannur — the citadel of the CPI-M.

Known for his tirades against the CPI-M, if there is any Congress leader that the CPI-M dreads, it is Sudhakaran.

The battle between the two has now become a legend in Kannur and there is never a dull moment, when the tall, well built Sudhakaran with his chest out arrives at any place where there is a commotion between the CPI-M and the Congress cadres and videos, in the manner in which he takes on the police force, are there in plenty.

Known for his upkeep of his body, Sudhakaran daily spends more than an hour at his personal gym for workout.

A media critic on condition of anonymity said under normal circumstances, Sudhakaran might be a wrong choice to lead the otherwise sober grand old party.

Today the situation is different, as the party is at its lowest ebb and when Congressmen across the state were expecting to ride to victory in the April 6 assembly polls, it ended at the receiving end and was humbled by Pinarayi Vijayan, who wrote himself into record books and retained power.

“The party is passing through its worst times and the grassroots of the party appears to have vanished. If the party has to at least put up a fight, then there is none better than Sudhakaran, who can really pump in the much needed adrenalin to motivate the cadres. He is the one person who has taken the battle into the CPI-M camp for long and that in itself is his advantage and disadvantage because, if he does not maintain calm at crucial situations, he might be a liability more than an asset,” said the critic.

One reason why the party high command, despite knowing what stuff Sudhakaran is made of, decided to go for him is, they have realised that the formidable factions in the party led by Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala have to be reigned in and even after the latter was the first choice for a second term as Leader of Opposition, the leadership brought in V.D. Satheesan and hence, it was more or less clear that Sudhakaran might get the nod.

If Sudhakaran’s battle field was hitherto Kannur, the scene is all set for a change as he moves to the state capital to take on his arch Kannur rival, the all powerful Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who very well knows that Sudhakaran is no push over and people can now get ready for a tit for tat between the two old Kannur foes.