Cong opts for generational change with Satheeshan as Oppn leader in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram

Congress party in Kerala opted for a generational shift, with leader of opposition in previous assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, giving way to the younger VD Satheeshan. This change was despite pressure from senior leaders Oommen Chandy and others, apart from Chennithala himself, who staked claim for another term, after he successfully forced the previous Pinarayi Vijayan to drop several controversial decisions. But this did not translate into electoral gains, which made younger elements demand for a change.

The high command decision also seeks to cut the powerful factions within the state Congress to size. Factionalism has been a bane of the party’s state unit, with various factions apportioning all the important positions to themselves. VD Satheeshan came into the party through students politics and has been a sober element in the party, keeping distance from the factions. There might be more changes with incumbent KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran conveying to high command his willingness to step down in preference of a younger leadership for the party.

Protest over oath taking

Meanwhile, trouble has started over the manner in which Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindhu was sworn in by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday, taking oath as Professor R Bindhu. Raising the question of impropriety by Bindhu, senior BJP leader B Gopalakrishnan said that she does not qualify as a professor.

according to UGC norms and knowing that very well, it was improper on her part to read her name in the oath as Prof R Bindhu.

"This fact that she is not a professor might not be known to the common public, but she knows very well that she is not a professor. However, till now none knows if the UGC has given any exemption to the Minister, who is the wife of CPI-M state secretary. She is only an Associate Professor," said Gopalakrishnan.

Even the official Kerala government notification that came out on Friday describing the list of cabinet ministers and their portfolios also indicate her name as Prof R. Bindhu.

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