After the humiliating defeat of the Congress in the last month’s elections in Kerala, the party’s central leadership has a tough decision. And it is running out of time.
According to multiple sources, a large number of parliamentarians, legislators and members of its Political Affairs Committee have sought a revamp across the Congress leadership in the state, including the Leader of Opposition.
This has been conveyed to the Congress leadership in Delhi in the one-on-one meetings held with elected representatives, they said.
However, according to sources, going by the traditional count of majority among legislators alone, the current Leader of Opposition, 65-year-old Ramesh Chennithala may have the edge, with those in former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s camp, also backing him.
But even with the two rival factions joining hands in his favour, Mr Chennithala’s support isn’t absolute.
Those who want a change in guard have supported 56-year-old VD Satheesan, who has won five times consecutively as a legislator, for the post of the Leader of Opposition.
VD Satheesan rose through the Congress ranks from the Kerala Students Union, just like Ramesh Chennithala.
Mr Satheesan has been part of the group associated with Ramesh Chennithala but sources say, over the last two years, he has been trying to distance himself from factionalism within the Congress.
It has been almost 20 days since the election results were announced in Kerala, giving a historic consecutive second term to the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front or LDF.
And with the Kerala assembly’s new session set to begin on Monday, the Congress is yet to pick its leader for the legislature.