Congress summons Kerala leaders to Delhi to end internal feud
Thiruvananthapuram: The congenital problem of factional feud continues to dog the Congress in Kerala. And the entire top brass of the party in Kerala has been summoned to Delhi to find an amicable solution to the never-ending squabbles.
These leaders included state party chief Mullapally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, former Congress Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as well as Benny Behanan, convenor of the Congress-led UDF and Lok Sabha member.
As they have been unable to resolve their differences over the much-delayed party revamp and continue to bat for their supporters' elevation to the party posts, the central party leadership has called them to Delhi.
Since the seventies, the party was led by A.K. Karunakaran and A.K. Antony, both former Chief Ministers. Now their groups have been taken over by Chennithala and Chandy.
After Karunakaran's death, his several supporters crossed over to the Chandy faction, making him the tallest Congress leader with a pan-Kerala acceptance.
But after leading the UDF to defeat in 2016 Assembly polls, Chandy withdrew to the backstage, leaving the field open to Chennithala. There is another faction led by Ramachandran.
These factions and their leaders -- despite several rounds of talks -- have failed to reach an understanding to the party's revamp, which includes 14 district presidents and the lower committees.
While Ramachandran wanted one vice-president and fewer general secretaries and secretaries, Chandy and Chennithala are demanding a jumbo list of office-bearers to accommodate their supporters.
With two crucial elections -- local body polls later this year and the 2021 Assembly polls in May -- the party knows without setting the internal squabbles it would be difficult to take on the now 'cash rich' ruling CPM.