‘Women and Dalits would be given special focus in the reorganization process’.
New Delhi: Last week, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee organized a two-day brainstorming session in Kozhikode. The event is a follow-up to a similar session held at the national level in May in Rajasthan’s Udaipur to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The Sunday Guardian talked with various KPCC leaders to know how these sessions will help the party to revive in the state. S. Ashokan, General Secretary of KPCC, said that sessions like this will help the party to expand. “UDF is expanding and the party will be reorganized on all levels in the state,” said Ashokan.
By the end of September, the upper level of the party will be reorganized and in October, booth level cadres of the party will be reorganized. The 2021 Kerala Assembly elections were a setback for the grand old party. The incumbent Left Democratic Front won 99 seats, eight more than in previous elections. After 1977, this was the first time that an alliance won consecutive terms. United Democratic Front led by the Indian National Congress won 41 seats, six less than in previous elections. With “Chintan Shivar”, the party is trying to revive state politics. KPCC leaders are terming this event fruitful for the party. A KPCC leader told The Sunday Guardian that “women and Dalits would be given special focus in the reorganization process. They will be given representation on district and booth levels.”
The party is thinking of making brainstorming sessions a continuing process for the betterment of the UDF. “The session was healthy for the party and we can say this is a new beginning for Kerala Congress,” said Ashokan. The party also tried to woo its old ally in this session; the two alliance parties, Kerala Congress (Mani) led by Jose K. Mani and Loktantrik Janta Dal led by M.V. Shreyams Kumar, had left the UDF alliance before the 2021 Assembly elections. However, after 24 hours of the call made by the Congress, both parties rejected the KPCC’s offer and said they are happy with the ruling dispensation.
Martin George, a Congress leader from Kerala, said: “These parties have a good hold in the Malabar region of the state.” The Kerala Congress (Mani), which is known as a predominant Christian party, left the UDF in 2020 and helped the LDF win many Assembly seats in the Christian heartland of Kottayam and Idukki. “With the call made in ‘Chintan Shivar’, the Congress tried to woo minority votes back into its fold,” said a political analyst. A session like this may help the Congress prepare for the final fight in 2024; the party wants to repeat its 2019 performance in the Kerala Lok Sabha elections. In 2019, the Congress won 15 Lok Sabha seats out of a total of 20 seats in the state.