According to a statement issued by the party’s organization general secretary KC Venugopal, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Sudhakaran as president, along with MP Kodikunil Suresh, MLAs PT Thomas and T Siddiq as working presidents.
Mullappally Ramachandran was elected as the President of the Pradesh Congress Committee and K.V. Thomas has been relieved of the post of acting chairman.
The Congress has made this major change in the organization of the Kerala unit after the defeat in the recent assembly elections.
The Congress-led Front UDF suffered a defeat in the Kerala Assembly elections and the Left Front LDF led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan won a landslide victory, breaking the four-decade-old practice of switching power every five years.
Sudhakaran is representing Kannur parliamentary constituency for the second time in the Lok Sabha. He has been an MLA for four times and was also a minister in the state government headed by AK Antony during 2001-2004.
73-year-old Sudhakaran, a flamboyant leader and an outspoken critic of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is considered the face of the Congress in Kannur, a stronghold of the Left. Due to his sharp statements and fearless personality, he has a good support base in North Kerala, especially in Kannur.
There was talk of a change in the leadership of the state unit of the Congress in Kerala after the defeat to the ruling LDF in the assembly elections and getting only 41 seats. When VD Satishan was elected the legislature party leader last month, it was almost clear that there would be a change in the post of KPCC chief.
Sudhakaran, however, said that Rahul Gandhi informed him about the new assignment over phone. “I will try my best to re-strengthen the party in the state and instill confidence in the party cadre,” he said.
He also said, “I will try to take everyone along in the party and seek everyone’s cooperation and support to rebuild the party. Congress will be strong again and will come back strongly in the state.