K Sudhakaran appointed as KPCC president

New Delhi: Weeks after suffering a drubbing in the Assembly polls, the Congress on Tuesday appointed senior leader and Member of Parliament, K Sudhakaran as the new president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), party sources said here.

The party high command picked the 73-year old leader for the top post replacing Mullappally Ramachandran after days-long discussions in the state and in New Delhi. Currently representing Kannur constituency in the Lok Sabha for the second time, he was also a four-time MLA.

Sudhakaran said Rahul Gandhi informed him about the new responsibility over the phone. “I will try my level best to revive the party in the state and regain the confidence of party cadres,” he added.

AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar, who was in charge of Kerala affairs, had handed over the report to Sonia Gandhi on the changes needed at the top level. About 70 percent of the senior party leaders in Kerala had supported K Sudhakaran.

According to a general opinion, Sudhakaran is capable of maintaining unity in the party regardless of group-based conflicts. The leaders believe that his Kannur style of politics will help Congress go forward.

Following the poll debacle, there was difference of opinion existing regarding restructuring of the party leadership. Ending the disputes, Sudhakaran’s name has been selected at last. There are several challenges before Sudhakaran while taking over the new title.

K Sudhakaran was born to Ramunni and Madhavi at Nadal in Edakkad in Kannur on May 11, 1948. He started political career through KSU and became Thalassery taluk committee president of KSU in 1967-70. He served as KSU state general secretary, National Students Organisation state president and Youth Congress state president.

When the Congress split on national level, Sudhakaran stood with Congress but later joined Janatha Party in 1978. However, he came back to Congress in 1984. He served as KPCC executive council member, Kannur DCC president, UDF Kannur district chairman and KPCC working president.

He became forest minister in AK Antony-led cabinet. In 2009, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kannur. Later, he was defeated by CPM’s PK Sreemathi in 2014. In 2019 election, he won with a margin of nearly 1 lakh votes defeating Sreemathi.