Mr. Anil’s defection is a fall out of the simmering factional dispute in the Congress in Kerala over the appointment of District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents.
Former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) organising secretary, K. P. Anil Kumar, has switched his political allegiance to the Communist Party India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] after launching a withering attack on the national and state leadership of the organisation he had served for 43 years.
Mr. Anil’s defection to the CPI(M) on Monday is a fall out of the simmering factional dispute in the Congress in Kerala over the appointment of District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents.
Rivetting political theatre marked the moment.
In a highly charged interaction with the media before he changed sides, Mr. Anil launched a powerful broadside against All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary, organisation, K. C. Venugopal and KPCC president K. Sudhakaran.
He accused Mr. Venugopal of exacerbating the divisions in the Congress in Kerala by attempting to eclipse other leaders to bend the organisation to his will.
Mr. Venugopal had excluded senior leaders, including Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, from the reorganisation process. Mr. Anil said the party had punished him for stating that the DCC president selection process was autocratic and non-consultative.
Mr. Anil accused Mr. Sudhakaran of parleying with the RSS and capturing the KPCC like "Taliban conquered Kabul". He said, "some leaders have accepted a contract to liquidate the Congress".
Midway through the press conference, Congress expelled Mr. Anil from the primary membership of the party. Mr. Anil said the dismissal was superflous since he had sent his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Sudhakaran much earlier.
PB members receive Anil
Soon, Mr. Anil received a red carpet reception at the AKG Centre in front of a phalanx of television cameras.
Three polit bureau members, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, S. Ramachandran Pillai and M. A. Baby, received him. Mr. Balakrishnan presented Mr. Anil with a red shawl.
Mr. Balakrishnan said Mr. Anil had left the Congress in protest against the soft-Hindutva line towed by the leadership. He said Mr. Anil felt motivated by the programmes and policies of the CPI(M). Organisational issues in Congress had also shaped Mr. Anil’s decision to join the CPI(M) in some measure.
Mr. Anil has set no pre-condition for working in tandem with the CPI(M). He was, till recently, the second man in the KPCC. He held the keys to Indira Bhavan as general secretary, organisation. "The CPI(M) will give him the recognition due to him", Mr. Balakrishnan said.
Mr. Balakrishnan hinted that more Congress workers would desert the party for the CPI(M). "Congress is disintegrating. So is the UDF", he said. Mr. Anil is the second Congress leader to join the CPI(M) this month. Earlier, KPCC secretary P. S. Prasanth had declared his allegiance to the CPI(M). Both leaders are likely to bring their loyalists in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram to the CPI(M) fold.
KPCC president K. Sudhakaran reacted strongly to Mr. Anil’s defection. He said Mr. Anil had turned against Congress in a time of crisis. Mr. Anil was resentful that Congress had by-passed him for the post of Kozhikode DCC president, he said. KPCC working president P. T. Thomas and Shafi Parambil, MLA, said Mr. Anil’s statement lacked credibility and reflected the mindset of an embittered politician out for revenge against the organisation that made him.
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