After much confusion as well as strong pushes and pulls by the faction leaders, K Sudhakaran was appointed the new president of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. The AICC decision was conveyed to Sudhakaran by Rahul Gandhi himself, who backed the Kannur firebrand all along.
His appointment comes after the high command overruled stiff resistance from the A and I groups, represented by former chief minister Oommen Chandy and former opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala respectively.
The two factions had come together to block Sudhakaran’s chances, on the plea his strong views on various issues would bring harm to the party as the Kannur leader did not have the knack to carry all sections of the party together.
To thwart the mantle falling on Sudhakaran, the factions had propped up Kodikkunnil Suresh, known to be a favourite of the high command, but the strategy did not work as Rahul stood solidly behind the former.
Sudhakaran’s appointment is, therefore, a snub to the faction leaders, whose fight for dominance is alleged to be one of the main reasons for the party’s debacle in the assembly elections.
Groupism, which has been the bane of the Congress in Kerala all along, often led to party posts as well as ticket distribution in times of elections being apportioned between the two prominent factions.
V M Sudheeran, the former KPCC president, had resigned from his post, complaining that the factions were not allowing him to function as he belonged to neither. Mullappally Ramachandran, who has now been replaced by Sudhakaran, had also complained about lack of support from the factions and had even refused to contest the assembly election, despite the go-ahead from the high command, as he feared that the rival factions would pull the rug from under his feet.