Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala unit of the Congress has reached an agreement to conduct the organizational elections through mediation and then consensus.
The agreement to adopt the consensus route was reached at the meeting of the high power political affairs committee of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
Reiterating his stance, former chief minister Oommen Chandy expressed confidence that the organizational polls would be substantive both in its intent and reality. if there are differences on any issue, the opinion of the majority would be respected, he added.
When the high power committee meeting pressed for a consensus, former KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran argued that the proposed arrangement should not be made only for the sake of the empowerment of factional loyalties. Some of the leaders supported his stand that the reorganization process could not be merely an exercise for sharing the spoils of power between the two prominent factions.
Both Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala have made it clear that such agendas would not be endorsed. They added that KPCC president (in-charge) M. M. Hassan would hold extensive consultations with various factions and each of their representation would be ensured in the revamp.
The meeting also reached an agreement on the inclusion of at least 30 percent of new faces in committees. The proposal was put forth by a section of leaders including AICC general secretary K. C. Venugopal. A decision has also been made to accord due representation to women and members belonging to scheduled tribe communities.
When asked whether a new KPCC president would take charge before the Vengara assembly by-poll, Hassan said that the by-election and the organizational elections had nothing in common and they should not be mixed up.
Nod from returning officer
Sudarshan Nachiappan, senior Tamil Nadu Congress leader and the returning officer for Kerala, will arrive in the state in a day or two. Before his visit, Hassan would hold talks with the members of the political affairs committee and senior party leaders. The outcome of his meetings would be discussed with Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala to reach a consensus before submitting the proposal for the approval of the returning officer, it is learnt.
Though the leaders claimed that a revamp formula was agreed upon, the party is yet to reach a consensus on the manner in which the elections are going to be conducted.
It is not clear whether a consensus would be reached following discussions with the representatives or after getting their approval for a general list prepared by the leadership.
The AICC had directed the leadership to convene a meeting of the representatives and select office-bearers through voting. However, as it is feared that such an exercise could lead to disputes and re-ignite factional wars, the party leadership is now trying to prepare a list after consultations with all the factions and hold elections just for the sake of fulfilling the technical requirements.