Lok Sabha 2019
CR Neelankandan had announced support for the Congress in 13 constituencies, without informing the central committee.
FB / CR Neelakandan

CR Neelakandan, Convener of the Aam Aadmi Party in Kerala, has been suspended from the party by its central committee for supporting the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. He has also been removed from the position of Party Convener of the state.

CR Neelakandan on Thursday had announced that AAP in Kerala will support Congress in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies and the Left in Malappuram. The decision of the central committee to suspend CR Neelakandan and to support the LDF in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls was taken on Saturday after the meeting held by the national leaders of the party in Delhi.

The rift within the state leadership and central committee comes at a time when the party and the Congress have not been able to reach a consensus on seat sharing in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

The party in Kerala had decided not to field any candidates in the state.

Meanwhile CR Neelankandan reacted to the party’s central committee’s decision by saying that they were only told to support any political parties which can defeat the candidates of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“The central committee's decision to support the LDF in Kerala is their latest decision because when we asked them before, they did not specify it. Moreover, we had also intimated that we will be discussing with party members in each constituency to decide whom to support in each place. It was based on the response of the local party leadership in each constituency, that we announced support for Congress in 13 constituencies,” CR Neelakandan told the media in Kochi.

He added that he has no complaints regarding the party’s decision of suspending him. But, he said that the issue could have been avoided if they were earlier told to support the LDF.

Thufail PT has been appointed as the new Party Convener of AAP in Kerala.

According to reports, the central committee of AAP had issued a show cause notice to the state committee of the party for declaring support for Congress without letting them know.

“We did not inform who we are going to support in each constituency but had said that we will decide this after talking with district committees. Elections are only a few days ahead of us, it was important to take a decision fast,” he said.