Monday, November 29, 1999

Cong leader complains to high command against Chennithala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 17 (PTI) Cracks today emerged within the Kerala unit of Congress with a senior leader expressing lack of faith in state party chief Ramesh Chennithala in the conduct of organisational polls in the state and sought high command''s intervention for proper conduct of the exercise. In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Mohsina Kidwai, 92-year-old K Karunakaran alleged that a large sections of party workers had been ignored in the name of "consensus" in the election of office-bearers at various tiers of the party. According to sources close to Karunakaran, he had sent the letter through a party functionary belonging to his camp. Karunakaran warned that the party would be spoiling its bright chances in the civic polls round the corner and the assembly elections just an year away if the grass root level party workers were not properly accommodated. He had earlier also complained to the central leadership that his followers were totally sidelined by an axis in the state unit led by Chennithala and some other power centres. When reporters sought his reaction to the senior leader''s grouse, Chennithala said he was not aware of the letter. Former chief minister Oommen Chandy said he did not think that Chennithala had been acting in a highhanded manner in the election process. It was a commonly accepted norm that wherever possible the elections should be conducted through consensus approach, Chandy said.

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