No space for conflicts, I stand for unity in the party: Chennithala

Neelu Vyas

Months after facing the worst defeat in the Assembly elections Leader of Opposition in Kerala assembly and veteran Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala in a candid interview to Rajya Sabha TV admits that Congress in the state is  in crisis because youths are not interested in joining politics.

As a result of which new leadership is not nurturing in the state.

Eulogising the hard work put in by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Chennithala said that there was an urgent need to inject new blood in the party. Dismissing reports of the rift between former chief Minister Oomen Candy and himself , Leader of Opposition said that congress was a democratic party which believed in consensus and reconciliation and that the party had no room for conflict.

Blaming, BJP for dividing socities on communal lines, the  veteram leader said that Kerala had no place for caste and communalism.

Chennithala even said that BJP was trying hard to decimate Congress and become the principal opponent to the Left front government.

Here are some edited excerpts from the interview given to Rajya Sabha TV’s Neelu Vyas:

Q) Now you are the Leader Of Opposition, How have things changed for Congress?

Congress a powerful organisation in the state of Kerala, Popular votes swings between UDF & LDP. People are keeping close watch about our moves in the state, No fruitful results delivered by present LDF gov

Q) Is the Oommen Chandy era over for Congress in Kerala?

Oommen Chandy, one of the tallest leaders in the state, Chandy’s experience in political system in Kerala is helping the state & UDF I share a cordial relation with Oommen Chandy

Ramesh-Chennitala

Q) You and Oomen Chandy are seen as two power centres in Kerala, is it good for the party?

Our party is in crisis, there is no space for conflicts, I stand for unity & reconciliation in the party. In the state as well as in the Centre, we are in opposition; we are bound to have differences within the Cong party. Leaders have various views on various aspects

Q) There is a feeling that Oomen Chandy is being sidelined?

The Party doesn’t sideline anybody, it arrives at a decision after elaborate discussion. Our state respects the High Command & AICC decision of candidate selection. We are getting all kinds of freedom in the state Every political party follows a hierarchy.

The High Command, in a democratic system we need an authority to control parties like minded people mostly to come together everywhere. I have no rift with Oommen Chandy

Q) Are you scared that LDF govt will now be on a witch hunting exercise against the congress leaders in Kerala?

Anti-incumbency factor cannot be assessed by us. CPI led LDP government convinced people that in UDF government there was rampant corruption witch hunt done by UDF government on our ministers resulted in lack of evidence against us.