THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has had the last laugh by grabbing eight districts for his loyalists in the appointment of the new DCC presidents. He has beaten former chief minister Oommen Chandy in the game by conceding only three districts to him. Mr Ramesh Chennithala’s trusted lieutenants are in place in Thiruvananthapuram (Neyyatinkara Sanal), Kollam, (Bindu Krishna), Alappuzha (M. Liju), Idukki (Ibrahimkutty Kallar), Ernakulam (T. J. Vinod), Palakkad (V. K. Sreekandan), Wayanad (I. C. Balakrishnan) and Kannur (Satheesan Pacheni). His grip on these districts is sufficient to catapult him to the chief minister’s post in the next Assembly elections if the Congress puts up a good show.
Mr Chandy could secure only three districts-- Kottayam (Joshy Philip), Kozhikode (T. Siddique) and Kasargod (Hakkim Kunnel). Though Malappuram DCC president V. V. Prakash originally belonged to Mr Chandy’s 'A' camp, he has distanced himself from Mr Chandy and has cozied up to KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran. Similarly, Mr Babu George of Pathanamthitta is closer to senior leader A.K. Antony and Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P. J. Kurien.
Thrissur DCC president T. N. Prathapan is a confidant of Mr Sudheeran. Mr Sudheeran batted for KPCC general secretary K. P. Anilkumar in Kozhikode, but Mr Siddique won the race. Though both Mr Sanal Kumar and Ms Bindu Krishna officially belonged to Mr Chennithala’s ‘I’ camp, they are attached to Mr Sudheeran as well. Mr Chennithala has outwitted his political guru and former chief minister K. Karunakaran by manoeuvring himself as a 'mediator' in finalising the DCC presidents’ list and walked away with the crucial districts.
After the Assembly election debacle, Mr Chandy has not been his usual self and has not been showing his fighting spirits. “Mr Chennithala has outwitted Mr Chandy, Mr Sudheeran, Mr A. K. Antony as well as the high command,” said a Congress leader. Normally, the Congress contests the maximum number of seats in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Kannur districts....