Kannur (Kerala) [India], December 17 (ANI): After the drubbing the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) received in the recent local body elections in Kerala, senior Congress leaders have come out openly seeking a leadership change in the party ahead of the upcoming assembly polls.
The party emerged victorious in the CPI(M) stronghold of Kannur, by winning 34 seats out of the 55 and the only Corporation seat among the six in Kerala.
"Congress leadership in Kerala need to change from top to bottom, otherwise party won't be able to survive against the strategy of CPI ( M) led Left Democratic Front (LDF) leadership in upcoming Legislative Assembly polls," K Sudhakaran, Congress MP told ANI.
Sudhakaran said that he will meet the national leadership of Congress next week, and request a 'rework' of the state leadership to activate the party's rank and file, as there is a need for effective and energetic leadership.
"We cannot reach the numbers we expected (in the local body polls). There are multiple issues behind this. A jumbo committee has been nominated recently in the party and many of the members are not active at all. The leadership is needed to activate the party's rank and file. They have to put their belief in public too. Regarding this issue I'm going to meet the national leadership next week," the Congress MP said.
K Muraleedharan, son of late veteran Congress leader K Karunakaran and a close confidant of the party in the Indira Gandhi period, has also spoken against the state leadership alleging that the party has to take corrective steps before it faces the Assembly polls.
He also severely criticised the manner in which the party's jumbo list was created.
The "Jumbo list" is a long list of office functionaries. In Kerala, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has published a list with names of additional 10 general secretaries, 96 secretaries, and 175 executive committee members.
"The changes should not be superficial on the skin, if a corrective process is involved, it has be surgery, to correct the party system," Muraleedharan said.
Sudhakaran echoed Muraleedharan in challenging the functioning of Congress. " A rethinking is inevitable as far as leadership is concerned in Kerala, and the party has to find out some effective and energetic leadership," he told ANI.
"We can't face this crisis with a Jumbo committee. There is a need to work hard with sincerity and accountability. We need such leaders here. I will try to convince the national leadership about the necessity to rebuild the party from top to bottom," Sudhakaran said further.
He added that if the party leadership in the state is not amended then Congress would not be able to survive in the face of LDF's organizational mechanism in the forthcoming Kerala Legislative Assembly polls.
"Otherwise we won't be able to face the strategy of LDF leadership in the upcoming election. We are nothing before their strategy. Our organisational mechanism is nothing before their mechanism. We have to definitely rebuild the part otherwise we won't be able to survive in the coming election," the Kannur MP added.
The revolt from within the Congress party comes at a time, when unfazed by the defeat, all senior Congress leaders headed by KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, and former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy held a press meet and tried to defend the defeat of Congress-led UDF in the civic body polls.
Ramesh Chennithala speaking to the media had said that the UDF vote base is intact compared to the last state local body poll outcome.
"Compared with the last local body election, the UDF vote base is intact. Our performance is good. Definitely, the people were expecting a bigger spectacular victory because of the corrupt practices and the anti-people policies of the state government," Chennithala said.
He added that UDF performed better than the last panchayat election, but accepted that in the district panchayat the alliance's performance was not good. (ANI)