Sr Congress leader K Sreedharan quits party, join CPI(M)
Sr Congress leader K Sreedharan quits party, join CPI(M)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Veteran leader K. Sudhakaran has indicated his desire to resign as president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) after upsetting many people with his pro-RSS comments.

The senior leader offered to resign from his position, claiming lack of support from the Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan, in a letter to former party president Rahul Gandhi.

He is believed to have mentioned his deteriorating health as another justification in the letter.

The CPI-M led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's arch-rival Sudhakaran, a strongman from Kannur, is renowned for his razor-sharp tongue. He has experienced intense pressure from his own party recently, particularly the Satheesan-led faction.

On the occasion of Children's Day on Monday, Sudhakaran claimed that Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had reached a compromise with "communal fascists" for the sake of democracy by allowing Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of the Jan Sangh and a key figure in the RSS, to join the Cabinet.

Also on November 9, he claimed that Congress employees had defended the RSS offices in his hometown of Kannur when they were threatened by Leftist groups.

He apologised and said it was an error in judgment after realising it could cause issues, but by that point letters from his party members had already made their way to the AICC office in Delhi.

It has been two days since Sudhakaran wrote to Gandhi, according to sources close to him, and it is puzzling why he felt the need to do so given that the party already has a fully elected president.

Gandhi's friends, such as the Indian Union Muslim League, have voiced their displeasure at Sudhakaran's comments and his loose speech, which is the main reason for his letter to him.

Interestingly, Kerala's top leaders have never before coordinated their actions, as was evident when Karunakaran and Antony were set against one another, Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala were pitted against one another, and now Sudhakaran and Satheesan are squabbling with one another.

The reason Sudhakaran chose to speak to Gandhi rather than the recently elected national president Malikarjuna Kharge will only become clear with time.

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