KPCC finalises picks for DCC presidents

Sudhakaran denies discord over the choice

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has finalised the picks for the post of District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents.

Meanwhile, KPCC president K. Sudhakaran denied media speculation that the powerful ‘A’ and ‘I’ groups headed by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala had voiced reservations about the selection.

Mr. Sudhakaran told reporters in New Delhi that groups were relics from the party’s past. They were history. No leader had given any list to the KPCC.

However, the KPCC had factored in the opinion of every leader. Ultimately, merit and not factional allegiance determined the selection. The process was exhaustive and took months to complete, he said.

Mr. Sudhakaran, working president Kodikunnil Suresh, P.T. Thomas and T. Siddique, and Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan met Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi. They handed over the tentative list to AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar. AICC president Sonia Gandhi would screen the list and announce her decision soon.

Mr. Sudhakaran said he was not aware whether Mr. Chennithala or Mr. Chandy had sought an appointment with the AICC leadership. “I am holding a screwdriver to repair a dismantled mechanism,” Mr. Sudhakaran said.

A party insider said the KPCC had to factor in group loyalties in DCC president selection to some measure, or it risked planting the seeds of discord within the organisation.

He said merit, age, caste demographic and favour of group leaders had a bearing in varying degrees on the KPCC’s final list of DCC president nominees.

So did social media adeptness, oratorial and organisation skills. The leader said some murmurs of disagreement were inevitable. However, the AICC was against any public statements. It has given the KPCC the mandate to crack the whip on party discipline.

The emphasis on party discipline was evident in the suspension of ‘A’ group leader P.S. Prasanth for disparaging the party for his failure in the Nedumangad constituency in the recent Assembly polls.

The New Delhi visit was reportedly marked with optimism. The Congress had bagged seven out of the 15 seats in the recent local self-government byelections. The party had also kept the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from chipping away at its support base.

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