Chacko comment on UPA's prospects irks Kerala PCC

Chacko comment on UPA's prospects irks Kerala PCC

State unit chief Sudheeran lashes out at leader for remark

Chacko comment on UPA's prospects irks Kerala PCC

Just when the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee breathed in relief after fixing a seat sharing arrangement enabling its senior leader P C Chacko to contest from Chalakudy instead of Thrissur, the state unit was in fresh trouble following his statement that the UPA had bleak prospects in the Lok Sabha elections. 

Chacko, during a meet-the-press event in Kochi on Saturday, had said conditions were “not favourable” for the Congress as it faced a critical Lok Sabha election. 

He also said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s reluctance to address the media frequently, despite requests from the party, led to a communication gap over the UPA’s stance on campaigns against the government and failure to highlight its achievements. 

Comments by Chacko, the AICC spokesperson and chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that probed the 2G scam, has rattled the state Congress unit, which has just sorted out the delicate seat swapping arrangement in his favour and has its hands full over many other issues. 

Chacko has since clarified that his comments were taken out of context and has reiterated his faith in UPA getting back to a third term. However, KPCC president M Sudheeran criticised Chacko for his “confusing” comments. 

Other senior leaders in the state unit like Mullappally Ramachandran and N Peethambara Kurup also disapproved Chacko’s statements. 

The AICC spokesperson mentioned that Congress held a distinct advantage in Kerala, but the state Congress unit is hoping that his comments do not add an unsavoury twist to the contest in Chalakudy, a seat it won in the previous general elections. 

Chacko’s comments come in the backdrop of his reluctance to contest from Thrissur, the constituency he won in 2009. 

He was learnt to have appraised the leadership about his unease in contesting from Thrissur for the second time, as he feared the factionalism in the constituency would work against him.  

After Chacko announced he would not be in the fray, the party persuaded Chalakudy MP K P Dhanapalan to contest from Thrissur and offered the seat to Chacko.