The race for the Congress president in Kerala has found a new person throwing his hat and it’s 58-year-old seven time Lok Sabha member Kodikunnil Suresh.
A former Union Minister of State for Labour in the second UPA government, Suresh a sitting Lok Sabha member is trying to wriggle in using a card, that he is from the Scheduled Caste community.
Suresh for a while was part of the Oommen Chandy faction, following which he left the group and was close to A.K. Antony and last year he again returned to the Chandy faction.
In the Congress party in Kerala, for the past two decades it has been divided between Chandy and outgoing Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala.
But following the rout that the party suffered in the April 6 assembly polls, when it failed to regain power, the party high command decided to intervene and much against the wishes of the majority in the 21 Congress legislator, they went ahead and selected V.D. Satheesan as new Leader of Opposition, even when Chennithala got the majority support when the Chandy -Chennithala faction in a surprise move, voted for the latter.
Another strong contender for the post is Kannur Lok Sabha member K. Sudhakaran and on Monday he said he has not made any representation to anyone for the post.
“But what I am given to understand is numerous emails have gone from the rank and file of the party workers here with my name. I am told the announcement will come after June 1. If there are any opposition to any names from here, such people should tell the rank and file, the reason for it. I have informed the high command that the party at the moment here is lying low,” said Sudhakaran, who also added that he is not a person who is baying for the blood of outgoing president Mullapally Ramachandran.
Incidentally the name of Suresh surfaced ever since there were reports that Sudhakaran’s name is being seriously considered and the two majority factions are not very keen on Sudhakaran, who is known to be one who might not take orders from anyone other than himself.
And that was how Suresh himself threw his hat into the race, but here too, the Chandy-Chennithala faction is not very keen on him either and a source in the know of things pointed out that both Chandy and Chennithala are deeply upset in the manner in which the high command failed to go by the norm of approving the name of Chennithala who had the support of the majority legislators.
“Both of them are peeved that the way the high command opted for Satheesan, when Chennithala got more support of party legislators. Hence they have decided to keep mum and not suggest any names,” said the source who knows the minds of a few top Congress leaders.
Among the other names that are doing the rounds include Lok Sabha members Benny Behanan, K. Muraleedharan and senior legislator P.T. Thomas or will it be a dark horse.