Rebel woes pose a threat to Congress in poll-bound Kerala
- Party leaders fear that dissension may heighten in the coming days-- posters and notices have started appearing at many places against probable candidates.
With seat-sharing and the candidate selection process progressing in Kerala, the problem of rebels has surfaced in the state unit of the Congress. Senior leader AV Gopinath, former legislator and Palakkad district Congress president, on Tuesday announced his decision to contest as a rebel in Palakkad constituency if he was denied a ticket for the polls. The assembly polls in the state will be held on April 6.
The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Janata Party have welcomed the sulking leader to their camps. “I have been side-lined for quite some time and party leaders never bother to consult me when they take decisions. There is a limit to humiliation. If age is a factor it should be applicable to all. It is unfair to side-line a select few,” said Gopinath announcing his decision to contest.
The CPI (M) Palakkad district committee said it will take necessary steps if he quits the party. The BJP which has a sizeable base in the district has also promised its support to him. Gopinath said he is in touch with many senior leaders of the CPI (M).
Last month senior leader and former Union minister Prof KV Thomas had threatened to walk out of the party but he was placated after the intervention of party president Sonia Gandhi. Later, he was appointed as the working president of the state unit. Party leaders fear that dissension may heighten in the coming days-- posters and notices have started appearing at many places against probable candidates.
Party leaders fear that dissension may heighten in the coming days-- posters and notices have started appearing at many places against probable candidates. Hectic efforts are on to convince Gopinath but people close to him said he has made up his mind. The Congress has reportedly promised him a key organisational position but he has declined it.
Desperately trying to grab power after a five-year hiatus, the Congress leadership has already announced that win ability will be the sole criteria and more youngsters and women will be inducted in the list of candidates. Party leader Rahul Gandhi, a member of parliament from the state, has made it clear that the selection process will carry his stamp and dividing seats on the basis of faction allegiance will not happen this time. Two prominent groups, one led by former CM Oommen Chandy and the other by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, call shots in the party.