A group of media persons were roughed up by party workers belonging to the ‘A’ faction of the Congress in Kerala. The journalists were covering a meeting held by the faction – under the leadership of former Kozhikode District Congress Committee president U Rajeevan – at a hotel in Kozhikode on Saturday, November 13, when the attack took place. A woman journalist bore the brunt of the party workers' anger, as they did not want any media attention on the meeting.
"I don't know why I was roughed up. My chain was broken and my shirt was torn in the pulling and pushing," said the woman journalist. While the police have started a probe, the Congress state leadership said they will look into the matter as well.
"This was an unfortunate event, this should not have happened. Strict action would be taken against anyone who was part of this," said Congress’s VD Satheesan, who is Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.
Even though the 'A' faction in the Congress party is named after former Defence Minister AK Antony, it is now led by former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, with Antony having no role in it.
Ever since the party high command took over the party activities in the faction-ridden Congress in Kerala after the April 6 Assembly poll debacle, there has been some displeasure among the leaders who have aired their disagreements with each other in public. After the elections, new Congress leaders in Kerala were announced – K Sudhakaran as the state party president and VD Satheesan taking over as the Leader of Opposition. However senior legislators including Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, leading the ‘A’ and the ‘I’ factions respectively and who were once foes, joined forces to oppose Sudhakaran and Satheesan.
However, with Chandy partly incapacitated due to health issues, in some districts the 'A' faction has further split.
(With IANS input)