KPCC cracks the whip on indiscipline by referring Aryadan Shoukath to disciplinary committee

KPCC cracks the whip on indiscipline by referring Aryadan Shoukath to disciplinary committee

The Congress has cracked the whip on Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) general secretary Aryadan Shoukath for ‘rebel activity’.

It accused him of imperilling party discipline by embroiling in “parallel political activity” outside the organisational ambit by staging a “mutinous factional rally” in Malappuram under the “pretext” of mustering public support for the Palestine cause.

The KPCC concluded that Mr. Shoukath wilfully ignored repeated warnings to abandon the “insurrectionist marshalling of factional loyalists”. It noted that the meeting lacked the Malappuram District Congress Committee’s imprimatur.

Moreover, the KPCC concluded the meeting, organised under the banner of a charitable trust founded in the name of his late father and Congress veteran Aryadan Mohammad, broadcasted a self-defeatist message of disunity.

The KPCC ordered Mr. Shoukath to stay away from party functions till the disciplinary committee headed by Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, MLA, weighed his case. Mr. Radhakrishnan will likely hear Mr. Shoukath and the DCC officer-bearers next week.

It also rejected two letters Mr. Shoukath wrote explaining his side of the charge. The party felt it was on a winning trajectory, given the two Assembly by-election wins and a modestly good showing in the local body bypolls.

Hence, the KPCC felt it could ill-afford to turn a blind eye to discipline infractions, regardless of the leader’s stature, lest it transmit a message of organisational weakness.

For one, it has taken strong exception to Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar attending a Left Democratic Front (LDF) government-sponsored seminar connected to the week-long Keraleeyam festival. Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan told reporters in Idukki that the KPCC had brought the transgression to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) attention.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] perceived a political advantage in Congress’s “quandary”. It portrayed Mr. Shoukath’s pro-Palestine rally as a public rebuke of Congress’s “ambivalence” on Israel’s “genocidal” attacks on Gaza.

The CPI(M) also saw a victory in Mr. Aiyar’s acceptance of the government’s invitation, risking the KPCC’s wrath.

However, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) rejection of CPI(M) ‘s invitation to participate in an LDF-sponsored pro-Palestine rally in Kozhikode on November 11 came as something of a face-saving relief for the Congress.

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