Nearly a week after Senior leader PC Chacko resigned from Congress, it is likely that he will join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), according to reports. Chacko, who was a former Lok Sabha MP announced that he will be joining NCP, a member of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) alliance in Kerala. “There are two fronts in Kerala. One is led by the Congress another by the Left. I left Congress, so naturally, I have to take a position. I can support the LDF,” Chacko was quoted as saying by Moneycontrol.
He said he will meet NCP chief Sharad Pawar today. “Mr Pawar is supposed to be back from West Bengal today. I will meet him and may join NCP which is part of LDF. I will campaign for LDF in Kerala,” Chacko said.
Amid demand from a group of 23 senior Congress leaders for an organisational overhaul of the party, Chacko, who headed the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G Spectrum during the second UPA rule, on March 10 announced his decision to quit over alleged undemocratic ways in the selection of candidates for the Assembly polls.
Hitting out at the leadership of the two groups in Kerala’s Congress party–“A” group headed by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and “I” group led by senior party leader Ramesh Chennithala, Chacko alleged that only Chandy and Chennithala know who all are being fielded as the party’s candidates in April 6 Kerala Assembly polls. “I come from Kerala where theres no Congress party as such. There are two parties Congress (I) and Congress (A). It’s a coordination committee of two parties functioning as KPCC,” Chacko alleged.
The two groups have been active in the state unit of Congress since the period of veteran leader and late K Karunakaran and senior leader AK Antony. While the A group was then headed by Antony, the I group was led by Karunakaran. As the discussions between state Congress leadership and representatives of the party high command on deciding party candidates are progressing in New Delhi, Chacko said the high command is “agreeing with the proposals given by both the groups”. “This groupism is the biggest bane of the Congress party in Kerala. Kerala is facing a very crucial election and in this election, the people want the Congress to come back. But, the stumbling block is the groupismwhich is practiced by top leaders of the Congress party”, said Chacko.
Referring to the period of vacuum created in the party’s national leadership after Rahul Gandhi quit the post of Congress president following the party’s defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Chacko said, “the Congress had been headless for the last one-and-a-half years”. There was no one in the party at the national level, Chacko said, recalling the situation that forced Sonia Gandhi, who is facing health issues, to take leadership of the party. He said the Congress working committee, in which he had been a member, had unanimously requested Rahul Gandhi to withdraw his resignation but he did not yield.
(With inputs from PTI)