THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After Lok Sabha elections, senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy was conspicuous by his absence from public programmes.
He is on and off seen in the ongoing session of the Legislative Assembly, but his statements or sound bytes are not being seen or heard like before.
Even before the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the 75-year-old had a brush with a throat infection. Once the election dates were announced, he was busy with campaigning in Kerala as well as in Andhra Pradesh where he is in charge as the AICC general secretary.
Mr Chandy was assigned to bring the young YSR Congress founder-president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy back to the Congress. But that did not work out as per the plan the high command envisaged.
Mr Reddy's mother Y. S. Vijayamma and only sister Y. S. Sharmila were keen to return to Congress. But he was firm in his stand to continue with YSR Congress and was in no mood to merge with the Congress.
The 46-year-old swept both the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and went on to become the 17th chief minister, leaving Mr Chandy and the Congress high command high and dry.
Post Lok Sabha elections, he went on month-long voice rest. Still, there is a long way before him for complete recovery as recently a leading female Malayalam singer had to take voice rest for more than a year.
Mr Chandy told DC, on his way back from Ernakulam, that he is still on voice rest.
"I am attending the Assembly session regularly, but not making any speeches. Last week, I had been to Andhra Pradesh as part of my responsibility there," he said.
"There's another meeting scheduled to happen there on July 3. But with Congress president Rahul Gandhi not relenting to continue in office, there are chances of the meeting getting postponed."
When asked about who will succeed Mr Gandhi as party president, he cleared his voice and replied: "AICC leadership is groping in the dark. We do not know how to find a solution. Unfortunately, even after several attempts, we have not been able to zero in on a leader. Let's hope for the best."...