The Congress on Wednesday appointed former Union Minister and Lok Sabha MP Mullappally Ramachandran as the President of party's Kerala unit, replacing MM Hassan.The party also announced the appointments of K. Sudhakaran, MI Shanawaz and K. Suresh as working presidents and K. Muraleedharan as the chairman of campaign committee for its Kerala unit.
Senior leader Benny Behanan could be the new convenor of UDF but his appointment was not announced on Wednesday.
Mullapally’s non-partisan image and affinity to All India Congress Committee (AICC) top leadership reportedly worked in his favour.
It was his under his monitoring as AICC’s chief election officer that Rahul Gandhi was elected as the AICC president. Mullapally is a Lok Sabha MP from Vadakara and is close to senior most Congress leader AK Antony.
Reacting to his appointment, Mullapally told the Times of India, “I wholeheartedly take the challenge to register an impressive win for the party in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.”
Ever since the Chengannur bye-poll debacle in May 2018, there was a state of unrest in the party with the party rank and file demanding a change in leadership.
Following the bye-poll disaster, party mouthpiece Veekshanam had come out with a piece claiming that the Congress party is dead and said, “The leaders are interested only in factional feuds. Kissing the hands of religious heads and bowing to their feet shouldn’t be the interest of the party. Those who come to the top have no ability. The leadership should be handed over to the youth.”
Since early June, there were speculations of a change in leadership with discussions on removal of MM Hassan as president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. Hassan had been appointed as interim president in March 2017.
M Liju, president of District Congress Committee Alappuzha had said, “It is likely that the KPCC president will be removed, but it’s not related to the bye-poll as the discussion was there earlier. Who will replace him has to be decided by the High Command.”
With IANS inputs