Rebellion in Rahul’s Kerala constituency; 4 Congress leaders quit

With elections just weeks away, Congress has dispatched senior leaders to Wayanad to broker peace with the rebels

Rahul Gandhi
There is discontent brewing in Rahul Gandhi’s constituency

The Congress was in damage control mode on Thursday following the resignation of four party leaders in Wayanad district, Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee secretary MS Viswanathan, KPCC executive committee member KK Viswanathan, DCC general secretary Anil Kumar and Mahila Congress state secretary Sujaya Venugopal have all quit the party in the past few days.

With assembly elections just weeks away, the Congress has dispatched senior leaders to Wayanad to broker peace with the rebels.

MS Viswanathan announced his resignation at a press meet in Kalpetta Press Club in Wayanad on Wednesday. A member of the Kuruma tribal community, he accused the leadership of failing to “ensure social justice in the distribution of seats”.

“The Kuruma community has been neglected in the seat-sharing exercise. I have the support of my community. The posts of DCC president and the legislator are held by one person. I had already expressed my dissent much earlier,” he said.

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Left Democratic Front leaders were also present at the press conference. According to a report in Mathrubhumi, Viswanathan will be fielded as an LDF candidate in Sultan Bathery constituency, where the Kuruma community holds sway.

Following Viswanathan’s resignation, Congress has inducted CPI-M leader EM Sankaran – who also belongs to the Kuruma community – into the party.

Sujaya Venugopal has also hinted she is going to join the CPI-M.

The other two leaders – KK Viswanathan and Anil Kumar – have been heavily critical of the DCC.

“Wayanad DCC is under the custody of three members,” KK Viswanathan said. “There are no joint discussions or decision making. During the opposition leader’s Aishwarya Kerala Yatra, Wayanad district had a poor turnout, while in other districts thousands came out. There has not been a time when I have been humiliated like this in the party, and because of that I am not continuing in the party,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Palakkad former DCC president and legislator AV Gopinath has threatened to contest against Youth Congress state president and incumbent Shafi Parambil.

Gopinath said he has been side-lined in the party. “One month ago, I was informed that I have to take over as DCC president. But that was torpedoed. Congress committees have been reduced to fill nominees of groups. If there is no favourable decision, I will quit the party within two days,” he said.