Kerala Congress (M) to cut flab as its rival battles top-heavy structure

A decision to trim down the party committees forms the core of a strategy by the regional, mass-based party to rehaul itself on a semi-cadre line.

Setting the stage for its potential unmaking as an organisation that rides on the coattails of a political legacy set by K.M. Mani, the Kerala Congress (M) has finally set in motion a drive to cut flab in its key committees.

A decision to trim down the party committees, according to the party leaders, forms the core of a strategy by the regional, mass-based party to rehaul itself on a semi-cadre line. Accordingly, a meeting of its State committee has now decided to amend the party constitution and bring in a few changes to its hierarchical structure.

According to Jose K. Mani, the party chairman, the State committee has decided to reduce of various party units from top to bottom, which creates a drag on its efficiency. “The State steering committee, which currently has 111 members, will now have only 91 members, while the number of State general secretaries will be cut short from 25 to 15”, he said.

The KC(M)’s move to get leaner assumes significance particularly as its arch-rival – the Kerala Congress (KC) led by P.J. Joseph, looks saddled with jumbo committees.

Alongside, its State executive will be renamed as the State secretariat while the membership will be pooled into two categories for regular and active workers. A proposal to ensure representation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women in different committees too has been put up

“whoever maintaining affinity towards the KC (M) can get a regular membership online, only the active members will have the right to vote, contest in the organisational elections, and be elected as an officer bearer,” added Mr. Mani.

Despite its relatively successful association with the Left Democratic Front, the KC (M) decided to revamp its organisational structure in view of the chinks in the party structure as exposed by the recent defeats in its bastions of Pala and Kaduthuruthy. Interestingly, the exit of a few senior leaders from the party following its departure from the United Democratic Front, appears to have ensured it the room for this massive exercise.

In contrast, the accommodation of these dissident leaders in the Joseph group, along with its design to realign with all major forces within the Kerala Congress platform, appears to have rendered it somewhat an unwieldy structure. The party, which now faces the problem of plenty at the top, currently has a working chairman and executive chairman, besides three deputy chairmen, 14 vice-chairman , secretary general, Chief Coordinator and over 55 general secretaries.

In view of the discontent among a section of leaders, the KC has now decided to hold the organisational elections to find a way out.

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