Congress leaders target Wasnik over RS seat to KC

Thiruvananthapuram, June 9 (IANS) Trouble continued in the Congress in Kerala, with a section of the leadership, including seniors, complaining to party chief Rahul Gandhi against the state-in-charge Mukul Wasnik accusing him of failing to prevent the “gifting” of a Rajya Sabha seat to Kerala Congress (Mani).

The infuriated senior leaders, including Members of Parliament, filed the complaint against General Secretary Wasnik, alleging he did not rise to the occasion and “failed” to alert Gandhi of the “actual facts” prior to his consent to K.M. Mani’s return to the UDF folds, party sources said.

Gandhi has asked Wasnik to submit a detailed report on the sequence of events.

The mails contain serious complaints against Wasnik for “meekly succumbing” to the demands made by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and state Congress president M.M. Hassan.

It also said that Wasnik has failed to take into account the feelings and emotions of the ordinary workers of the party.

Early on Saturday, a coffin was spotted outside the Congress district office in Ernakulam with pictures of Chandy and Chennithala on it after they wilfully succumbed to Mani’s “pressure” and gifted the Rajya Sabha seat to KC(M).

However, Hassan told the media here that there has been a lot of “misunderstanding in the manner in which things are being discussed”.

“The truth of the matter is at all levels in the Congress party, there was an unanimous decision that Mani should be brought back to the Congress-led UDF.

“It’s unfortunate that while the truth is this, unnecessary discussions have begun in the party.”

Hassan also said that the state leadership of the party does understand the emotions and feelings of the party workers. “It’s quite natural and our only request is that it should not cross the accepted limits.

“We have only taken the decision after considering the need of the hour which is to strengthen the United Democratic Front (UDF) and it will happen if Mani returns.” Hassan also called the demand “valid”.

With a new state president likely to be announced shortly, Gandhi is expected to take the matter up seriously and Hassan has been asked to stay on till his replacement is named

The Congress-led UDF is also looking for a new convenor with the present incumbent and veteran P.P. Thankachen set to be replaced.

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