Rejecting the party’s decision, senior Congress leader KV Thomas announced on Thursday that he would attend the CPIM seminar in Kannur as part of the party’s 23rd conference, which will be attended by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Kerala’s Pinarayi Bijayan.
Kerala State Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran on Wednesday said action would be taken if anyone denied the party’s decision and that Thomas would attend the CPIM seminar if he was willing to leave the party.
Thomas said that when he was invited to the seminar, he gave a note to All India Congress Committee (AICC) President Sonia Gandhi and AICC General Secretary for Kerala and Lakshadweep Tariq Anwar and mentioned the national significance of the event.
“I was asked to talk about Center-State relations. MK Stalin is also taking part. Stalin is someone who is with the Congress. Outside of Kerala, leaders including Rahul Gandhi are participating in all the programs where CPIM is participating. Rahul Gandhi himself took part in the program with the victory of Stalin and Pinarayi. ”
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who was invited to the seminar, consulted with Sonia Gandhi and, following her instructions, decided not to attend.
Thomas complained that when he raised the issue with the seminar, he was threatened with dismissal. He added that members of the group could have questioned him but they chose to threaten him.
“I am a Congressman, I am not going anywhere. If they want to take action against me, let them take action. I am an AICC member, only AICC can take action against me, “said Thomas.
He said those who are opposing the BJP should unite for the 2024 elections. He further said that he will not be able to meet Rahul Gandhi directly after 2018.
CPIM leaders have said that if any action is taken against Thomas, he will not be left alone. CPI (M) Politburo member MA Baby on Wednesday cited the example of TK Hamza, who was once chairman of the district congressional committee, and won the election in support of the left and MLA Katie Jalil.
Sudhakaran said he would respond to the issue after discussions with senior leaders.
Thomas has now thrown the ball in the court of Congress. The big question is whether the CPI (M) will field him in the Thrikkakara by-election if the Congress takes any action against him. Thomas was a Member of Parliament from Ernakulam from 2009-2019, and for several years, the CPIM has been looking for independent candidates in the constituency.
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