Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V M Sudheeran resigned from the top party post on Friday citing ill-health.
A staunch loyalist of former defence minister A K Antony, Sudheeran told a press conference he took the decision as doctors advised him rest after he tripped at a public function in Kozhikkode in north Kerala.
“It is a painful decision, but I took it in the larger interest of the party,” he said, adding it was time to make way for a person who can “run around quickly and take swift decisions.”
Known for his clean image, he was appointed as the PCC chief after then party chief Ramesh Chennithala joined the Oommen Chandy cabinet in 2014.
After Congress’s debacle in the last assembly elections, Sudheeran was blamed by many in the party for denying seats to some veteran leaders.
His relations with Chandy had also soured of late prompting the latter to give many party functions a miss. The Congress high command had to intervene on many occasions to broker peace between the warring party leaders.
Meanwhile, Chandy denied reports that he was a top contender for the post. “I have made it clear that I will not accept any post,” he said.
Party insiders said K Muralidharan, son of former chief minister K Karunakaran, is tipped to be the frontrunner for the post.