Kerala Assembly Election: Why Mr Clean kept mum?

It's not only Sudheeran's defeat in his crusade, it is also a loss for Antony, who backed him.

Thiruvananthapuram: It is generally believed that KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran had the backing of senior Congress leader A. K. Antony when he put forward the demand that ‘tainted’ sitting MLAs should not contest the Assembly elections.

It has been pointed out that Mr Antony had attended the KPCC office-bearers meeting last month in Thiruvananthapuram and told the leaders that some of the senior sitting MLAs should make way for the new crop of leaders. But unfortunately Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Mr Sudheeran did not discuss this issue while in Kerala and the latter literally hurled a ‘shocker’ in New Delhi when the talks on the candidature were initiated. It is not only Mr Sudheeran’s defeat in championing his cause, but it is also the loss for Antony.

Mr Sudheeran was chosen by the AICC leadership as the PCC chief during early 2014 to curb the rampant factional politics in the Congress. From day one, Mr Sudheeran tried to stamp his authority in the party meetings and raised several controversial issues ranging from paddy reclamation, bar closure, corruption and irregularities in Consumerfed to the recent Methran kayal and Kadamakudy paddy reclamation to godman Santhosh Madhavan being exempted from land ceiling limit.

Whenever Mr Sudheeran had raised corruption issues of the UDF government, it had the backing of the AICC leadership which gave him a ‘clean image’ Mr Antony has always been credited with.

“It is surprising that the AICC leadership surrendered to the demands of Mr Chandy,” said a women Congress leader who has been denied a party ticket. “Mr Antony remained silent on the ‘tainted’ sitting MLAs issue when he could have amicably settled it, fearing backlash from Mr Chandy as that would have only spoilt the chances of the Congress further.”

Mr Antony did not name any one when he raised the issue of senior leaders making way for youth leaders at the KPCC meeting. The AICC leadership also was keen to see a new crop of leaders coming up as there were several sitting MLAs who have been contesting more than four times. Quipped a prominent AICC leader, “a law should be brought forth by the party to set an age limit for contesting the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.”

Prominent UDF leaders have also urged Mr Antony that the dispute between Mr Chandy and Mr Sudheeran should have been avoided fearing backlash in the Assembly elections. UDF convener P. P. Thankachan has called for UDF meeting on April 6 at Cliff House to sort out the remaining seat sharing among the allies.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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