G Rathikumar quits Congress, joins CPM
Thiruvananthapuram: In yet another jolt to the Congress in Kerala, one more former general secretary of the KPCC defected to the ruling CPM on Wednesday with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan terming it as a "natural process of collapse of Congress", even as Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan put up a brave face, saying nothing will happen to the party whoever leaves it.
A day after Congress leader K P Anil Kumar quit the Congress and joined the CPM, KPCC former general secretary G Rathikumar announced his resignation from the party on Wednesday, alleging that its current national leadership was taking steps amounting to helping the Sangh Parivar forces in the country.
The leader, hailing from Kollam district, also joined the CPM, alleging that the Congress has lost its democratic framework.
After sending his resignation letter to KPCC chief K Sudhakaran, Rathikumar visited AKG Centre, the headquarters of the CPM in the state, where he was received by CPM politbureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, state Finance Minister K N Balagopal and other senior leaders.
Commenting on the development, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also a senior leader of the CPI (M), said it was a natural process as the Congress was a camp which is in a state of collapse and many sensible people inside that camp are thinking whether to remain inside it or not.
"That is what is happening in the Congress now," the Chief Minister said at a press conference here, reacting to a query on the development in the state Congress.
Welcoming Rathikumar to the party, Balakrishnan said Left politics in Kerala was receiving wide acceptability in the state.
He said Rathikumar will be given an "adequate position" in the party.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Satheesan said quitting one party and joining another one was not a big deal as many have quit the CPM and joined the Congress too.
To emphasise that the Congress was strong organisationally in the state, Satheesan said "Even if I quit the party, nothing will happen to it".
He said K Karunakaran was the tallest leader of the Congress but nothing had happened when he left the party.
Meanwhile, veteran Congress leaders expressed concern over the process of resignations happening in the party and called for a self-analysis to find out its reasons.
Talking to reporters here, former UDF convener and Congress MP Benny Behanan said, "Congress is a democratic party and when many of our friends are leaving the party, it should carry out a serious self-analysis to find out the circumstances leading them to take such a step".
The process of leaders' resignations are happening in the Congress as it was making all efforts for a strong comeback after the drubbing in the April 6 Assembly polls.
Senior leader and KPCC former general secretary K P Anil Kumar quit the party and joined the ruling CPI (M) on Tuesday, days after another leader P S Prashant resigned and went to the Marxist party fold. Arriving at his home turf in Kozhikode, Kumar was today given a rousing welcome by the CPM workers.