Can Shashi Tharoor step into seasoned Congressman Oomen Chandy’s shoes?

Thiruvananthapuram: With an ailing Oomen Chandy keeping away from active politics owing to his health condition, a reshuffle in leadership appears imminent in the Kerala unit of Congress.

But a pertinent question is being raised, “Will Shashi Tharoor be able to replace the now-ailing popular leader Congress veteran Chandy?”

A delve into the history of the party in Kerala would reveal that it has always been led by two or more factional leaders. The trend started with K.Karunakaran and A.K.Antony, then moved on to Chandy and Chennithala in the past two decades and now being led by State party president K.Sudhakaran and Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan.

For the hitherto majority faction led by Chandy, with his health falling, the second and third line leadership and their workers are trying their best to revive its past glory and it’s here, though Chandy continues his treatment at a Bengaluru hospital, the leaders close to him is understood to have sought his blessings, if they can bring in the dapper Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha member Tharoor.

According to sources close to Chandy, he is understood to have given the green signal for it, as he knows Tharoor’s worth among the ordinary Congress voters, especially first time voters in the age group of 18 to 22 years.

A political analyst on condition of anonymity said despite Chandy being away from active politics due to his failing health, he continues to enjoy the biggest fan following.

“The chemistry between Tharoor and Chandy has always been good. Chandy’s associates are yet to come to terms with the leadership of Sudhakaran or Satheesan. It’s here the faction led by Chennithala comes into play, though Chennithala and Chandy were at loggerheads, today, they, at times moved together for a common cause. Hence, if Chennithala too gives a nod, then Tharoor could well be the next shining star of Congress in Kerala,” said the political analyst.

However Tharoor’s fate could be decided at the national level in the coming weeks, when the Congress Working Committee will be reconstituted and if he manages to find a place, then it could work to his favour when the Chandy-Chennithala might consider him the right person to replace Chandy.


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