Senior Congress leader from Kerala, Ramesh Chennithala, who has held important party positions both at the state as well as national levels, is not perturbed by the decision of the party’s Steering Committee not to hold an election to the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
The committee authorised Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to nominate the CWC members.
In an exclusive interview, Chennithala told South First in Raipur, during the 85th plenary session of the Congress: “We are the only political party that believes in internal democracy. This has been demonstrated beyond doubt with the election of Mallikarjun Kharge as the party president. No other political party holds party elections.”
Support for the party decision
When reminded that the party did not hold elections to the CWC, Chennithala said he had been “preparing for the election”.
He added: “But now, since the party has authorised Kharge to nominate CWC members, I support the decision.”
Insisting that Kharge would take the lead for the party as AICC president, Chennithala pointed to Rahul Gandhi still being the face of the party.
Kharge is leading the party at a crucial time when it has to face elections in several states this year and then the Lok Sabha election next year.
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‘It is a collective leadership’
“Kharge will lead, but at the same time, it is collective leadership. Rahul Gandhi is the face of the party. He worked very hard during the Bharat Jodo Yatra and people appreciated his commitment to the national interest. So both will lead the party to success,” Chennithala told South First.
Speaking on a big drawback within the Congress — infighting in state units — Chennithala admitted that it was a major challenge for the party.
“I am sure the party president will settle these issues in states and unite the party to take on the present undemocratic regime,” he said.
When it was pointed out that it was infighting that apparently was the cause for the Left Front to win a rare second consecutive term in Kerala in 2021, Chennithala said: “We will sort out the issues.”
Chennithala, however, did not agree with the impression that Shashi Tharoor, the senior Congress leader from Kerala, was not getting adequate attention in the party ever since he fought the election against Kharge.
“No, no, no. He will be taken into confidence. He will get due importance in the party,” he added.