Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 6: Ramesh Chennithala, recently inducted into the state cabinet after a long spell as president of the Congress in Kerala, told reporters Monday that his party would repeat the 2009 performance in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
Addressing reporters after a meeting of the top party officials, Chennithala said the party had already hit the campaign trail for the Lok Sabha polls, and was all set to capitalise on the divisions in the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist.
“All their protests in the recent past fell flat and evoked no response because they are a divided house, whereas we, the Congress, and the United Democratic Front, are united like never before. We will repeat the 2009 poll results,” Chennithala said.
In the 2009 polls, the UDF won 16 of 20 seats Lok Sabha seats in the state. The Congress won 13 of the 17 seats it contested, and its allies won all three seats that they contested.
“Today’s meeting did not go into the list of probable candidates to be fielded. The chief minister and I will leave to meet our party high command on Thursday, when the new state president of the party would be finalised,” Chennithala said.
Chennithala was sworn in last week as a minister. He has been given the prized home portfolio.
“The revamp of our organisational set up at the lower levels is going on. Very soon, we will be finalising it. We are now confident and prepared to deal with any eventualities. The opinion of the CPI-M party secretary that things are not fine in our party is nothing but wishful thinking,” Chennithala said.
For almost a year, the Congress had seen differences between the state party president and the chief minister. For long, aides of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were unwilling let go of the home portfolio.
After the recent defeat of the Congress in the assembly elections in four states, however, the party high command prevailed upon Chennithala and Chandy to sink their differences.