Congress In Kerala – A party shot down by its own men

Congress in Kerala watches mutely as partly leaders continue to walk out of its camp

The Indian National Congress, as the nation already knows, is at a crossroads. Punjab proved to be a great example. It looks like Rajasthan is also set to teach the top leadership a lesson or two in party management. Lack of vision in an era when almost everything is lost is turning out to be a bane for the grand old party. The party in Kerala too is undergoing a transformation for the worse, if the latest developments are any pointers.

The party’s new leadership in Kerala, which took over from veterans who have been in the public space for long and have won polls galore, had put together a list of office bearers some time ago. The problems got kickstarted then. And, how!

K Sudhakaran, the new party chief in Kerala, may have been thought of as an able man, but he is proving to be a magnet for trouble. When young dynamic V D Satheesan was chosen as the Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly replacing old warhorse Ramesh Chennithala, political observers thought that to be a welcome move.

Disgruntled Congress leaders calling it quits in Kerala

But it was not to be. For the new set of District Congress Committee  (DCC) presidents these men out together as a list were not a totally accepted lot by the veterans. Many men and women who had been awaiting elevation in the party ranks were left disappointed as their names failed to find a place in the list.

And all of a sudden, the exodus started. First, it trickled down as an outflow of disgruntled party men who were denied their due. With former Chief Minister and Congress veteran Oommen Chandy and the leaders of his ilk saw their loyalists being pushed out of the scene, disappointment soared. The exodus began then and there.

Making matters worse, a couple of popular leaders who thought they were sidelined left the Congress to be part of the arch-rival party – the CPI(M). The ruling front accorded a red carpet welcome to the Congress leaders who left the party and rushed in to embrace the red flag.

Congress men to Communists in a matter of days

Popular leader K P Anil Kumar walking out of the Congress camp and being welcomed by the CPI(M) was a pointer to a new story that would refold in the days that followed. That did happen, and many more left Congress to be in the CPI(M). Even before the Assembly polls, a couple of prominent leaders had jumped the sinking Congress ship. That too was due to the alleged manner in which they were mistreated by the party bosses.

The latest blow for the party has come in the form of the resignation of one of the most popular and respected leaders of the Congress in Kerala. V M Sudheeran, former minister and party veteran, called it quits and tendered his resignation for the political affairs committee of the party in Kerala.

The resentment is said to be against the state party leadership’s manner of putting together the list of office-bearers. His anger was not just against the state leadership, but the Congress High Command in Delhi too for okaying the state leadership’s way of functioning.

Congress In Kerala - A party shot down by its own men
V M Sudheeran

Veteran Sudheeran’s exit means bad for the Congress in Kerala

Not stopping at his resignation from the political affairs committee, he also decided to forgo his AICC membership. And this has caused a huge uproar among party workers.

Opposition leader V D Satheesan rushed to meet the veteran, but Sudheeran was not someone who would budge. Though Sudheeran has said that the reason for the resignation is a physical ailment, it is far from the truth. Anyone who has been following the Congress politics in Kerala would know that the Sudheeran has been dissatisfied with the reorganization of the Congress in the state. Only time will tell whether he would also step down from the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) too and end all ties with the party and the elements that have been mismanaging such an old outfit that had been in power and involved in Kerala’s social scenario for long.

Congress and its inability to be an effective Opposition

Things are not very rosy for the Congress in Kerala. That also means that Kerala is one more addition to the grand old party’s mishaps. The party bosses in Delhi do not seem to have an idea how they should be leading the party. That too in an era where the role of an effective Opposition is the need of the hour. In the Modi era, India needs more than just a tweeting Opposition.

The Congress party seems to be just spending their time on social media. When veterans like Amarinder Singh and others are being snubbed in regions where the party should be strengthened in time for the next Lok Sabha polls, Rahul Gandhi and the people around him are being reduced to just weak netas with a zero agenda.

Lending voice to people’s aspirations and their thoughts go missing from a government that is stone deaf to dissent. This is where the Indian National Congress has a role to play. Instead of strengthening the party with a foundation built on people’s aspirations and support, the party is just throwing it away by listening to inexperienced leaders sitting comfortably in Delhi. The result, as everyone knows, would be a foregone conclusion.

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