National

No democracy in Congress, it has lost ideology: Chacko

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on March 10, 2021

PC Chacko

Former MP and chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee that probed 2G spectrum scam and veteran leader of the Congress PC Chacko has resigned from the party. Indicating that he may go to the Left camp, he said he has been a supporter of the Left of the Centre politics for long and said the BJP is his biggest enemy. Talking to BusinessLine, he said the party high command failed to control the “group interests” in the Kerala unit of the Congress, dominated by Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala. Excerpts:

A number of Congress leaders have joined the BJP recently. Are you also going on the same path?

The BJP is my biggest enemy. I am resigning from the Congress as it has become difficult to continue in that party for people with integrity and commitment to democracy and Nehruvin ideology. The high command has become weak. They are unable to control leaders who have no ideology and are in the Congress not to serve people but to serve themselves.

There are speculations that you are joining BJP.

It is baseless. I have always taken principled position in politics. When the Congress faced split after the Emergency, it was I who took AK Antony to meet EMS Namboodiripad. We entered into an alliance with the Left in 1980. Antony later left that alliance without any valid reasons. But, I continued to support the Left as a principled stand. I returned to the Congress after Rajiv Gandhi became the president of the party. He invited Sharad Pawar and other leaders back to the fold. I joined along with Pawar.

What is the trigger point now?

I am a member of the screening committee for Kerala. But we have not discussed even a single name in the committee. Two meetings were held, but it was not structured. Senior leader and former PCC president VM Sudheeran and I demanded in the meeting that the list should be circulated. Instead, Chandy and Chennithala prepared their own list and got the high command to approve it. That means there is no democracy in the Congress.

But the Congress always had groups within it…

Yes. But still, there used to be discussions in party committees. Even at the thick of factional fight between leaders K Karunakaran and Antony, we used to have threadbare discussions in KPCC.

Do you have the same grievance as that of the 23 leaders, who revolted against the high command?

No. I do not subscribe to their view. I was not a signatory to their letter though they approached me. I told them it is not right. A signature campaign would mean questioning the leadership. Party affairs should be held as per constitution. Elections should be held properly.

So, what is your future plan?

I sent a message to Rahul Gandhi minutes before I announced my decision. He asked me whether it was absolutely necessary. I thanked him. My resignation may weaken the party at the time of an election. I did not want to swallow the questions in my mind and keep silent. I will not retire from politics. At the moment, I feel that I should not continue in the Congress suffering insults. I will take an appropriate decision soon.

Published on March 10, 2021

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