The new state president will replace MM Hassan, who was brought in as an interim president after VM Sudheeran quit in 2017.

Chandy Chennithala to meet Rahul Gandhi to choose new state party chief
news Politics Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 17:18

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has summoned former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala to Delhi. They will meet on Thursday to help Gandhi pick a new state unit chief.

Gandhi is seeking a younger crop of leaders, an informed source said. He is focussing on the second generation of leaders. The front runners include VD Sateeshan and PC Vishunath -- all below the age of 50.

The new state president will replace MM Hassan, who was brought in as an interim president after VM Sudheeran quit in 2017.

Hassan had been appointed as the interim president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee on March 25. Hassan is a prominent leader of the A group headed by former chief minister Oommen Chandy.

At the time, the High Command went ahead with this move in an apparent bid to please Oommen Chandy who was adamant in not taking up any official posts.

Over the years, the Congress in Kerala has been divided for well over three decades between former Chief Ministers K Karunakaran and AK Antony. With the turn of the 21st century, the baton has passed on to Chandy and Chennithala.

“The appointment is till the organizational election. At present it’s not possible to say when the election would happen,” senior leader KV Thomas had told The News Minute.

Chandy was defeated in the May 2016 Assembly polls. He has since refused to accept any post.

Former Defence Minister Antony was made the state president when he was just 32 and Chief Minister at 37.

All senior leaders have had a long run and must now make way for the younger leaders, said a party leader who did not wish to be named.

The 77-year-old Antony has quit from state politics. But he is a key decision-maker when it comes to Kerala and Gandhi holds him in high esteem. Chandy, a two-time Chief Minister, now at 74 continues to be the biggest crowd puller for the party in the state.

(With IANS inputs)

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.