The office was for sale at a price of Rs 10,000 and buyers were requested to contact the Kerala Congress (Mani) to clinch the deal.

Congress party HQ in Kerala put up for sale on OLX after row on Rajya Sabha seat
news Controversy Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 09:59

Even as the Kerala unit of the Indian National Congress (INC) grapples with the ‘gifting’ of a Rajya Sabha seat to Kerala Congress (Mani), Indira Bhavan, the headquarters of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) in Thiruvananthapuram was put up for 'sale' on OLX on Saturday night.

In a bizarre move, a user named Aniesh pegged the property at a price of Rs 10,000 and requested buyers to contact the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) or KC(M) to clinch the deal. 

The dealer also described in detail, the layout of the office in Velayambalam and mentioned that it was in a ‘ready to move’ condition for the buyer.

The post on OLX seems to be by someone disgruntled over the decision of the Congress party in Kerala to back its former ally KC(M) for the lone Rajya Sabha seat up for grabs. The move has not gone down well with a section of its leaders, many have openly voiced their dissent against the party.

In a letter addressed to party President Rahul Gandhi, six MLAs wrote: 

“I do express my utmost disappointment and strongest protest on the Kerala leaders' decision to give away our Rajya Sabha seat to the Kerala Congress(M) party, which is not even a constituent of the UDF in Kerala as of now. This has betrayed the sentiments of the ordinary Congress workers in Kerala and is a huge humiliation to their spirit. I, therefore urge you to reconsider this catastrophic decision at the earliest and field a Congress candidate itself for the ensuing election.”

The letter is endorsed by Congress MLAs including VT Balram, Shafi Parambil, Hibi Eden, Roji M John, KS Sabarinadhan and Anil Akkara. 

Former Congress state President VM Sudheeran also lashed out at this "suicidal strategy".

"The need of the hour is to strengthen the Congress and the UDF will strengthen only if the Congress is strong. This gifting of seat to Mani will in no way be of any help as Congressmen will not be happy at all. Even Mani knows that he has no right to this seat," an angry Sudheeran said.

The Congress was earlier looking to re-nominate former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, but dropped the plan after facing stiff opposition.

The most vocal opposition to Kurien came from a group of young Congress legislators who demanded that since Kurien has had a long career in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he should pave the way for other Congress leaders.

A peeved Kurien meanwhile told the media in New Delhi that he will abide by the decision of the party high command.

"This was a meek surrender of the Congress and the key architect in it is (Former Kerala CM) Chandy. The decision to hand over the seat to Mani was never discussed in the party at all. I was told by Chennithala that Mani is demanding the seat. I said I have no problem in giving it up but wished it would have gone to the Congress and not to some other party," he said.

With this development, it is only a matter of time before KM Mani formally returns to the Congress-led UDF. The KC(M) had left UDF after the 2016 Assembly elections. 

Elections are due this month to elect three new members to the Rajya Sabha. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) will be able to win two seats and the Congress one, given the number of seats these two rival political fronts have in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.

 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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