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Chennithala slams new Kerala PCC's 'arrogant' style of functioning

The two powerful groups in the state Congress-- one headed by Ramesh Chennithala and another by Oommen Chandy --joined hands here on Friday to launch a scathing attack on the new leadership of the KPCC headed by its chief K Sudhakaran and Leader of opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan over their ''arrogant'' style of functioning.

Chennithala slams new Kerala PCCs arrogant style of functioning
Congress Leader Ramesh Chennithala (File Photo)


Expressing displeasure over the new leadership for ignoring him and Chandy in organisational matters particularly in the selection of 14 DCC chiefs, Chennithala today described himself as ''just a four annas (25 paise)'' member of the party but said Chandy was a senior leader and AICC general secretary and all the decisions of the state Congress should be taken after consulting with him. 

A day after the Congress leadership asserted in Kannur that PCC chief K Sudhakaran will be the ''last word'' on organisational matters in the state and spoke about bringing discipline in the party, Chennithala took a dig at the new leadership, indicating that many of them had violated discipline in the past and asked what would happen, if it is implemented retrospectively. 

''I am not saying that matters in the Congress should be discussed with me. I am just a four annas (25 paise) member of the party. But Oommen Chandy is the general secretary of AICC. So (they) have an obligation to discuss the matters with him,'' the Haripad MLA said at a party function here in which Nattakom Suresh took charge as Kottayam DCC president. 

Attacking the style of functioning of the current leadership led by Sudhakaran and V D Satheesan, Chennithala said when he and Chandy led the Congress for 17 years, they had never used the language of ''arrogance''. 

''When we got the power (in the organisation), we never used the language of arrogance. Instead we carried all the people together. We had put party interest over personal interest,'' said Chennithala, who is also the former Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly. 

At this stage, it is the responsibility of the leadership to hold all in the party together, he said. 

Chennithala also criticised the new leadership for branding him as a senior Congress leader, saying he was not a veteran and was only 64. 

In an apparent dig at PCC chief Sudhakaran, who is 73, he said those who have crossed the age of 74 or 75 are calling him senior leader. 

Attacking the new power centre in the state Congress, senior leader K C Joseph said no one came forward to help Chandy when he came under cyber attack recently. 

Joseph, who is a strong supporter of Chandy, also flayed the KPCC decision to suspend former MLA K Sivadasan Nair from the Congress in the name of party discipline. 

Nair and former KPCC general secretary K P Anilkumar were suspended temporarily early this week for publicly expressing displeasure over the selection of the party's district chiefs by the All India Congress Committee. 

Although Chandy was not present at the function held in Kottayam today, it became a venue of joint protest by both the 'A' group headed by Chandy and 'I' group led by Chennithala against the new power centre in the state Congress. 

The two groups have been active in the state unit since the times of veteran leader K Karunakaran and senior leader AK Antony. 

The KPCC leadership refused to react to the comments of Chennithala at Kottayam, the stronghold of Chandy. 

''No comments'', Satheesan said when the issues raised by Chennithala were brought to his notice by the media. He, however, asserted that Sudhakaran will have the last word on organisational matters in the state Congress. 

The development comes even as the central leadership of the party was trying to mollify Chandy and Chennithala describing them as the ''pillars of the party'' in Kerala. 

AICC general secretary (in-charge Kerala), Tariq Anwar has said all decisions on organisational matters will be taken after consulting them.

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