"If the party has to return to power, Sudheeran has to go."

Defeated Congress lot set out to meet Rahul on ways to revive INC fortunes in Kerala
news News Wednesday, July 06, 2016 - 17:51

A 66-member team of Congress leaders will discuss with party vice-president Rahul Gandhi ways to revive the party in Kerala where it lost power in May, said a party leader on Wednesday.

Among those reaching Delhi are former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V.M. Sudheeran, leader of the state opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Lok Sabha MPs, MLAs and those who lost the assembly polls.

"This is a meeting to decide how to strengthen the party at all levels," Sudheeran told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram before leaving for Delhi.

The Indian National Congress had contested in 87 assembly seats in Kerala but could win only 22, with many veterans having to bite the dust at the electoral stake.

At a meeting of the state party executive in July, several leaders blamed Sudheeran for its dismal performance. Since the electoral rout, Chandy has declined to take up any party post and preffers to remain as an MLA. 

The Congress-led UDF has 47 seats in the 140-member Kerala assembly. "If the party has to return to power, Sudheeran has to go. You just wait and see," remarked another Congress leader who did not wished to be identified.

While some leaders want the next state president to be someone elected by them, there are others who feel that no one should be thrust upon them by the ‘high command’ even in case of a nomination. 

Since Vayalar Ravi defeated A.K. Antony in 1991 to become the state president, all subsequent state presidents have since then been nominated by the Congress high command.

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