Professionals’ Congress conclave in Kerala, Tharoor & Satheeshan to attend

With the state Congress party in flux in Kerala after the entry of Shashi Tharoor into the fray as a probable Chief Minister candidate, who has been travelling across the state and attending party functions, a conclave of the All India Professionals’ Congress of which he is the president will take place in Kochi on Sunday.

Incidentally, two senior leaders of the state Congress, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, K. Sudhakaran and leader of opposition in state legislative assembly, V.D. Satheeshan are also participating in the conclave. While Sudhakaran will be attending the programme online, Satheeshan has confirmed his presence in participating in the meet.

These two leaders were being targeted by the other groups in the state Congress for having played behind the scenes to oppose Tharoor from attending and speaking in public programmes at Kozhikode, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts.

Three-term Kozhikode MP and senior leader of the Congress party, M.K. Raghavan had brought Tharoor for a function at Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram districts for a four-day whirlwind tour of North Kerala. He had also visited the residence of the supreme leader of the main ally of the Congress in Kerala, Indian Union Muslim League, Sadik Ali Shihab Thangal.

Almost all the leaders were in unison that Tharoor should have informed the respective District Congress Committees before embarking on such a tour and that was the objection to his visit rather than his presence per se.

It has to be seen whether tempers fly at the All India Professional Congress conclave to be held at Kochi on Sunday as opposition leader, V.D. Satheeshan is expected to make some statements on Tharoor’s forays in Kerala.

Satheeshan had openly said that the state Congress, which has suffered after the back-to-back losses in 2016 and 2021 Assembly elections, was being somehow revived by the unified work of the party workers and leaders and that the party would not allow any sectarian activities to take place.

This statement of Satheeshan was seen as aimed directly at Tharoor for his being part of a party group led by Raghavan with the blessings of former Chief Minister Oomen Chandy.

With the 2024 general elections approaching and then the 2026 Assembly elections in the state, the group activities in the state Congress are not likely to come down and instead the possibility of group and turf war may increase.

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