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Despite Gag, Former Kerala Congress Chief Trains Guns on Party High Command

A sulking Sudheeran, who quit the KPCC President's post on health grounds a year ago, maintained that handing over of the Rajya Sabha seat to Kerala Congress(M) was a mistake.

PTI

Updated:June 13, 2018, 7:09 PM IST
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Despite Gag, Former Kerala Congress Chief Trains Guns on Party High Command
Congress Kerala unit chief VM Sudheeran (Inset).
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Thiruvananthapuram: Rumblings in Kerala Congress over its decision to forego a Rajya Sabha seat in favour of KC(M) refused to die down with former KPCC chief V M Sudheeran again training his guns on Wednesday on the state party leadership.

His outburst against the party bigwigs, particularly AICC General Secretary Oommen Chandy, comes a day after KPCC put a gag on leaders from making statements in public on party affairs.

A sulking Sudheeran, who quit the KPCC President's post on health grounds a year ago, maintained that handing over of the RS seat to Kerala Congress(M) was a mistake.
Attacking Chandy, Sudheeran said that he did not receive any support and co-operation during his stint as KPCC Chief from Chandy, who was then the Chief Minister.

Talking to reporters at his residence, Sudheeran, also a former state minister, said handing over the Rajya Sabha seat to KC(M) was a "big blunder". Referring to the restriction on party leaders airing their opinions in public, Sudheeran said Chandy and KPCC President M M Hassan were in the forefront in attacking late Congress veteran K Karunakaran when he was the Chief Minister. Factionalism and groupism was the bane of the Congress in the state, Sudheeran said.

"The party leadership in the state should try to regain the trust of its workers, which it has lost over the RS issue, instead of banning public statements," he added. The senior leader also said that Congress, as the main opposition party in the state assembly, had failed to take up the 'drawbacks' of the CPI(M) led LDF government.

The tussle in the Congress surfaced after its candidate lost the crucial April 27 bypoll in Chengannur.

It intensified after the leadership on June 7 decided to hand over the lone RS seat to KC(M) as a pre-condition for its return to the Congress-led UDF opposition after it snapped ties two years ago.

The decision evoked sharp criticism from a section of party leaders in the state.

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien and Sudheeran were in the forefront in questioning the decision, which, they alleged, had been made without taking the party into confidence.

The seat given to KC(M) was held by Kurien.

Sudheeran and Kurien had also stated that the decision lacked transparency and was taken by Chandy, Chennithala and KPCC Chief M M Hassan without consultations in the party.

During his stint as KPCC chief, Sudheeran had faced strident opposition from the two major factions -- one led by senior leader Chandy and other by the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala.

During the political affairs meeting and also of the KPCC held during the last two days, Hassan and Chennithala had maintained that the decision was taken with the objective of strengthening UDF.

They also said that considering the criticism and protest, any decision on crucial matters like the RS seat would be taken only after discussing the matter with other senior leaders and in the party fora.

Polling for the biennial election for three Rajya Sabha seats from the state is scheduled for June 21.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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