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Congress may take consensus route

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress group leaders are working to avoid organisational elections and reach a consensus on crucial posts.  They held talks on Sunday with Congress MP Sudarshan Nachiappan, AICC’s returning officer for organisational elections, who is on a three-day visit to the state. Mr Nachiappan will prepare a list of  the  280- member governing body of the KPCC by September 30. Though former chief minister Oommen Chandy and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala stayed away from the KPCC office, the group representatives apprised Mr Nachiappan of the need for consensus.

Mr Nachiappan held  talks with the returning officers belonging to 14 districts, DCC presidents, KPCC office-bearers, political affairs committee members, MPs and MLAs. A DCC president told this paper that Mr Nachiappan would include  two or three members belonging to the PAC, the faction members and MPs’ nominees in the 280-member governing  council. “Nachiappan wants to avoid risk  and will go by the advice of Chandy and Chennithala. He will  listen to the KPCC leadership,” said a DCC president.

PAC’s lone woman member in the 21- member panel, Shanimol Usman, told DC, “consensus is also a part of organisational elections. The PAC had already agreed to go  ahead with  consensus. It was an internal policy matter taken in the PAC,” she  said. Former KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran, who has been demanding  organisational elections, also held talks with Mr Nachiappan.  He had  raised his voice against consensus at the PAC meeting the other day. Mr Chandy, Mr Chennithala and Mr Sudheeran will walk away with group loyalists while party loyalists will be left high and dry, it  is said.

But youth leaders root for party polls:

The Congress youth leaders have demanded that the current office-bearers should step down giving way for new faces. This demand was raised by      former national youth congress, state Youth Congress office-bearers, DCC-level youth leaders and KPCC executive committee members at  a meeting with  AICC’s returning officer Sudarshan Nachiappan here on Sunday. They said Youth Congress and women leaders should be given 50 percent representation in the organisational revamping.

In a  memorandum given to the AICC leader, they alleged that the KPCC leadership had been ignoring them. They fear that they will be sidelined yet again and that the  two factions would walk away with a major chunk of party posts. The youth leaders had been elected through secret ballot  without the support of any factions. Two years ago the national Youth Congress leadership had recommended to include 10 efficient leaders as PCC office-bearers and nominate  70 members as DCC leaders.

“Though the KPCC leadership appointed the DCC- level leaders, they shied away from appointing us to the PCC level citing that more discussions have to be undertaken. They instead brought in senior leaders to the party forum and so far no discussions have been held with us,”  said a senior Youth Congress leader.
The group leaders have decided to go ahead with  consensus rather than polls. Over the last two decades, the two groups have been following a seat- sharing mechanism. The youth leaders also told Mr Nachiappan not to include those who are above 50 years in the new list.

“The KPCC leadership has not published the  election schedule, membership list and voters’ list after the membership campaign,” the YC leader said. The youth leaders who called on Mr Nachiappan included Mathew Kuzhalnadan, Anil Thomas, R. V. Rajesh, D. V. Vinod Krishna, Ajis Ben Mathews, R. S. Arunraj, Sooraj Ravi and Niyas Chithara. They also gave him copies of their memorandum addressed to AICC president Sonia Gandhi and  vice-president Rahul Gandhi

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