Congress falls back on Oommen Chandy to retrieve party prospects in Kerala
- The party leadership had reportedly told three senior leaders (Chandy, Chennithala and Ramachandran) who were summoned to Delhi two days ago that winning the election was top priority and to give more importance to the party than factions.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has named a ten-member jumbo committee under former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy to retrieve lost ground in the state and prepare the party ahead of the crucial assembly election which is due in three months.
The party was forced to fall back on the 77-year-old reluctant leader after the high command felt that his “inactive role” and “indecisive attitude” of the present leadership affected the party’s prospects in the recent local body elections. Many allies and social organisations have also favoured his return to salvage the prospects of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
The first state to experiment with coalition politics five decades ago, the state has never given a second chance to the incumbent and tried both fronts, CPI (M)-led LDF and Congress-led UDF, alternately. But the recent local body results forced the overconfident party leadership to sit up and think.
PCC president Mullapplly Ramachandran, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, AICC general secretaries K C Venugopal, Tariq Anwar, senior leaders Shashi Thaoor, K Muralidharan, Kodikunnil Suresh, V M Sudheeran and K Sudhakaran are members of the panel. They will devise a fresh poll strategy and oversee election preparations in the state, said the AICC statement.
The party leadership had reportedly told three senior leaders (Chandy, Chennithala and Ramachandran) who were summoned to Delhi two days ago that winning the election was top priority and to give more importance to the party than factions. It also asked the state unit to field more youth and women in the election.
It has also decided not to project a CM candidate now. Among five states that are going to the polls in April-May, Kerala is the crucial state for the party. In the last general election, the UDF had won 19 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats.
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