UDF convenor Benny Behanan steps down

KOCHI: After two years at the helm, Benny Behanan, MP, on Sunday announced his decision to step down from the post of UDF convenor, amid reports in recent days that Behanan will be replaced soon.Addressing a news conference in Kochi, Behanan said that he had communicated with Congress senior leaders about his resignation. “A section of the media reported that I had expressed displeasure over quitting the post of the convenor. I was appointed as convenor as per the decision of Congress high command. However, now I am quitting the post though there has been no directive from them. The media reports suggested that I have indifference with senior leader Oommen Chandy. This has hurt me the most. I have decided not to continue in the post amidst this kind of baseless news reports,” he said.Behanan, the MP from Chalakkudy, had been appointed as UDF convener in September 2018.Behanan said his decision was intended to avoid any kind of misunderstanding among the party workers at a time when the Congress and the UDF are unitedly fighting against the “anti-people policies of union and state governments”.A section of party leaders had criticised Benny Behanan for holding the posts of UDF convenor and MP simultaneously after the KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran insisted that the leaders should hold only one post so that they could serve the party better.The resignation of Behanan is likely to pave the way for Oommen Chandy loyalist M M Hassan to occupy the post of UDF convenor, according to party sources. Though former union minister K V Thomas is also in the race, he may not get the key post as he does not figure in the two prominent Congress groups in Kerala viz Oommen Chandy-led ‘A’ group or Ramesh Chennithala-led ‘I’ group.