The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) appeared to have been blindsided by the stepping down of two MPs from crucial party positions.
Benny Behanan resigned as United Democratic Front (UDF) convener, purportedly opening the door for the KPCC to nominate M.M. Hassan to the post.
K. Muraleedharan, MP, resigned as chairman of the KPCC media campaign committee. He reportedly said in his letter to the Congress national leadership that he was abiding by the party line that MPs and MLAs stay away from critical organisational positions voluntarily.
KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran told The Hindu that the MPs had not informed him about their decision. The AICC had nominated them to the organisational posts. They might have sent their resignation letters to the national leadership.
Mr. Ramachandran said the AICC had signalled several times that it wanted MPs and MLAs to focus on their constituencies. An organisational post would hamper their primary task of maintaining and nurturing their constituency. The actions of the leaders appeared to be in tandem with the AICC line “one person, one post”, he said.
V.D. Satheeshan, MLA, had asked the party last year to spare him of organisational responsibilities to focus on his constituency and legislative work.
Another office-bearer said the KPCC also viewed that the resignations could be the precursor of a collective move by few Congress MPs to return to State electoral politics ahead of the Assembly elections in 2021.
The KPCC was against such a change of tack in the election year. It has also reportedly informed some of the MPs that their desire to return to State politics might precipitate avoidable byelections to Parliament.
Some party persons viewed Mr. Behanan’s resignation as signs of discord in the so-called ‘A’ group of the party in Kerala.