New Delhi: Already facing the factional feud in Punjab and Chhattisgarh, the oldest party is now facing the same situation in Kerala, where senior leaders like Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala flayed the state leadership over the selection of the new District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents.
The two senior leaders have accused the Kerala leadership of not holding proper discussions prior to the selection of district presidents and not taking everyone into confidence. This comes a day after two Congress leaders Sivadasan Nair and AP Anil Kumar were suspended as part of disciplinary action for criticising the party openly.
On the other hand, both Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran and Opposition leader VD Satheesan rebutted the charges.
At a press conference in Delhi, KPCC president said that it is unfortunate that he had to publicly correct the statement of a senior leader like Chandy, adding “Twice meetings were conducted with Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala. The names suggested by Chandy was noted by me in my diary,” while showing the diary pages.
The KPCC president said that earlier times discussions were not held in the party and this time selection was made after proper discussion with all in a democratic manner overcoming factionalism in Congress.
Meanwhile, opposition leader V D Satheesan backed the KPCC president saying that discussions were made with all leaders including Chandy and Chennithala, adding “In the last 18 years, it is for the first time such elaborate discussions were held with all MPs, MLAs and other leaders including Chandy and Chennithala before coming up with the list.”
“If seven persons each are taken from the list they had given then there is no point of us sitting in such positions? Maybe they are expecting it. As this is what that happened earlier,” he added.
Meanwhile, both Sivadasan Nair and AP Anil Kumar hit back at the new Kerala leadership alleging that both Sudhakaran and Satheesan had severely criticised the senior leaders of the party on several occasions.
Earlier on Saturday, the Congress appointed the chiefs of the District Congress Committees of the Kerala unit of the party. PK Faisal has been appointed as the president of the Kasargod district unit, Martin George as the chief of Kannur unit while ND Appachan will lead the Wayanad district unit of Congress, B Babu Prasad will be leading the Alappuzha district unit.
Sidhu Vs Captain in Punjab
Punjab Congress row has taken a new twist after AICC state in-charge Harish Rawat made a statement that the state Assembly elections to be held in 2022 would be fought under the leadership of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
The state chief, Navjot Singh Sidhu, has publicly expressed his anger and asked the party to allow him the freedom to take decisions or he will give a devastating reply, adding that he didn’t want to remain just a ‘show horse’.
On August 26, Sidhu said he will ensure that the Congress remains in power in Punjab for the next 20 years, “But if you don’t let me take the decisions, I will also ensure total devastation,” using the term “itt naal itt bhi khadkavunga”. His remark were made during a meeting with industrialists and traders in Amritsar, amid the ongoing turf war in the party`s state unit.
He further said that there was no point in being just a show horse (“darshani ghoda”).
Sidhu’s supporter in the party, Pargat Singh, told ANI, “When all the MLAs had met the three-member Kharge Committee constituted by the party high command in Delhi three months ago, it was decided that the Punjab Assembly elections to be held in 2022 would be fought under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.”
Pargat Singh also questioned Harish Rawat that he should tell when this decision was taken.
Baghel vs Deo in Chhattisgarh
Even as the ongoing power tussle in the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh seems to have subsided after Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel met Rahul Gandhi for the second time last week, but differences between the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleague T S Singh Deo.
Trouble has been brewing in the state Congress ever since Deo sought a change in leadership citing a power-sharing agreement on rotating chief ministership after the party came to power in the 2018 assembly polls.
The MLAs supporting Bhupesh Baghel also reached the national to put up a show of strength, and the Chief Minister reiterated that the Congress government in the state is “safe” with the support of 70 MLAs.
The issue has come to fore as the Baghel government completed two-and-a-half years in office in June this year, and TS Singh Deo’s supporters raised the issue of rotational chief ministership. Deo also said that every member in a team aspires to be the captain, making it clear that he is eyeing the top post in the state.
The Congress has never talked about the two-and-a-half-year formula in Chhattisgarh, but Deo’s supporters claimed that this was promised post Assembly poll results.
(With Agency Inputs)