Sonia, Rahul to meet Congress leaders of Kerala on Monday
New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi will hold discussions with veteran party leaders of Kerala on Monday regarding the upcoming assembly election.
Former chief minister Oommen Chandy, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and party state president Mullappally Ramachandran will meet Sonia Gandhi at 10 am and Rahul Gandhi at 3 pm.
Party general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal and general secretary in-charge of Kerala Tariq Anwar also will participate in the meeting to resolve the issues in the leadership. Chennithala reached Delhi on Saturday and Oommen Chandy and Mullappally on Sunday.
The top sources of the party stated that the High Command will ask the leaders to ensure unity despite group issues as it is important for Congress to come to power this time. There will be suggestions to consider popularity and chance of victory while deciding candidates and to prioritise women and youngsters.
The High Command will also demand the leaders to seek support of the community groups which traditionally support Congress. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala told Mathrubhumi that they expect to stand together and bring Congress back to power.
Chennithala was the chief ministerial candidate of the party even though there was no official announcement. However, after the setback in the local body polls, there has been a call from all corners to bring back the ailing Chandy who is considered the only Congress leader in the state who has access to the grassroot level. Chandy is a leader who can address party leaders across the state by their first name.
While Chennithala has been banking on the powerful Nair Service Society to support his CM candidature, it is reliably learnt that its General Secretary Sukumaran Nair -- the final word in the NSS -- has extended support to Chandy.
Chandy is the only Congress leader in Kerala who has the acumen and the right connections to pull a surprise against a reinvigorated CPM. Social organisations and movements favouring the Congress party are for supporting his candidature.
While Chandy is not keeping good health his close associates are of the opinion that he can pull off a stunning victory against the CPM and if he is not projected it will be doomsday for the party.
Ramachandran while speaking to IANS over telephone said: "We are meeting the AICC leadership to chalk out the final strategies for the ensuing Assembly elections. Please don't read between the lines as Congress is a party with collective leadership. We will expose the corrupt, anti-people government of Vijayan and win the next Assembly elections."
The main constituent with Congress party in the UDF, the Indian Union Muslim League, is keen that there is proper preparation before the Assembly elections and a strategy is chalked out to expose the CPM-LDF government's misrule.
E T Mohammed Basheer, Member of Parliament and national organising secretary of the IUML, while speaking to IANS over telephone said: "Our party has done its due diligence and has found that we have to indeed plug lot of loopholes, not only for the Muslim League but for Congress also. We have to take all social and political organisations affiliated to us into confidence and then get into fighting mode."
(With inputs from agencies)