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Congress in Kerala divided over Shashi Tharoor’s Malabar tour

Congress in Kerala divided over Shashi Tharoor’s Malabar tour

With senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor attracting a sizeable crowd and attention in north Kerala during his ongoing four-day tour in Malabar, Opposition leader V D Satheesan on Tuesday said the party has enough space for everyone but it will not tolerate any move to revive factionalism in the state unit.
However, Tharoor said he has never been part of any factional politics in the state and his only attempt was to strengthen the party and reiterated that nobody will have to worry about his Malabar tour.
Party leaders’ uneasiness over his trip grew manifold after member of Parliament (MP) from Kozhikode, M K Raghavan said openly that “Tharoor alone can take the Congress back to winning ways in the state”. Another senior leader K Muraleedharan also said “people who eye the CM’s post were behind creating confusion over his trip.”
Satheesan said the Congress has space for everyone but the party will not tolerate factionalism anymore. “After two consecutive defeats we are building up the party by taking everyone along. It doesn’t have strength to face divisive politics now. If anyone attempts to break this, we will not tolerate it,” he said in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram.
He reiterated Congress state president K Sudhakaran’s view that any leader can attend programmes after consulting with respective party units. He said a section of the media was creating an impression that the party was a divided house and it tried to array leaders against each other.
Satheesan said the party had organised many strikes and movements in the state capital recently but the local MP (Tharoor) was missing in all these programmes. “Some people and a section of media balloon certain leaders but they will burst at a slightest prick. We are not those balloons,” he said.
As Tharoor’s trip continues to make enough ripples the Congress state chief has asked party leaders not to air public statements and create any confusion. “The Congress always ensured internal democracy. Tharoor is free to attend the party events after talking to respective DCCs (district Congress committees),” said Sudhakaran.
Meanwhile, Tharoor called on Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal in Malappuram on Tuesday. He also visited the Congress’ Malappuram district office. “He (Tharoor) is a tall leader. If he plays an active role in state politics it is always good for the UDF (United Democratic Front),” said Thangal.
The League has always been supportive of a greater role for Tharoor but it was cautious enough considering the delicate power balancing in the Congress. Like Kozhikode, in Malappuram also many district Congress leaders kept away from Tharoor’s function. On Wednesday Tharoor is addressing a seminar in Kannur, the Congress state chief’s constituency.
After meeting with Muslim League leaders, Tharoor said he was not interested in forming a group in the state and one should not read too much into his Malabar trip. “There is no need of an A, B, I or O group in the Congress. If there is a need for a letter like earlier, it should be “U,” a united Congress is the need of the hour,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by GOVT.in staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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