Feud within NCP to the fore

General secretary demands change in State leadership

The State committee meeting of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) here on Monday ended with State general secretary Jayan Puthenpurackal demanding in full media glare, a change in party leadership in Kerala and seats for freshers in the upcoming Assembly polls.

He told the media that State president T.P. Peethambaran and Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran only pursued their own interests by keeping the party office-bearers and workers in the dark about developments. He would write to the national leadership demanding a change of leadership in the State unit and to field new faces in the elections.

The charge

“Mr. Peethambaran was responsible for the split in the party and he ditched Mani C. Kappan after encouraging him to talk to UDF leaders. Similarly, while they held a meeting with the LDF leaders on seat-sharing, they were not forthcoming on the details of the same. This is a ploy to field Mr. Saseendran from Elathur again,” Mr. Puthenpurackal told The Hindu and said all allied organisations of the NCP, including its youth wing and fishers’ outfit, were for a change of leadership.

Mr. Puthenpurackal’s outbursts came on the heels of Mr. Peethambaran telling the media that the State leadership of the party remained united and just one district committee and three State secretaries had left with Mr. Kappan.

He spoke about the plans to organise and strengthen the party down to the booth level early next month, to prepare for the elections.

Exudes confidence

Mr. Peethambaran also exuded confidence that the breaking away of a faction led by Mr. Kappan would ‘not greatly damage’ the party’s prospects in the elections.

Four seats had been demanded by the party and the discussions had only begun, he said. Mr. Saseendran said there was no discussion about his candidature.

Mr. Peethambaran said the NCP would legally challenge if the new party formed by Mr. Kappan (Nationalist Congress Kerala) took a name or symbol resembling the NCP’s.

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