Kerala Elections 2021: Ex- Congress leader Chacko joins forces with NCP
After resigning from Congress alleging the loss of democracy from the party, Chacko joins hands with NCP.
Former Congress leader P.C. Chacko on Tuesday joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after meeting its President, Sharad Pawar. In Kerala, NCP is part of the left alliance.
Ahead of joining the NCP, he had met the Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. The NCP is part of the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala where Assembly elections are approaching.
Chacko said, "The need today is for unity in the opposition parties. A united opposition should emerge as an alternative to the BJP. I don't see that initiative in the party which I was a member of earlier."
After Chacko's induction into the party, Sharad Pawar said, "The country needs a third front and talks are on with different political parties over its formation. Even CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury stated on Tuesday that there is a need for a third front, which is yet to take shape."
A former MP and Delhi in-charge, Chacko quit the Congress on March 10. He said he sent his resignation letter to party interim chief Sonia Gandhi, saying that "(it)was difficult to be a Congress leader in Kerala as it is in the grips of faction leaders".
Chacko was miffed over ticket distribution in his home state Kerala.
"There is no democracy left in Congress. The candidate list has not been discussed with the state Congress committee. I have sent my resignation to Sonia Gandhi," Chacko had said.
He blamed the leadership for continuing to be a mute spectator. "If you belong to some group in Congress, then only you can survive in the party as leadership in the Congress is not much active."
He said in Kerala the party is divided between former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, whom he blamed for the step he had to take.
P.C Chacko in his prime days, in state politics, was considered to be very close to A.K. Antony and Oommen Chandy. When these leaders split their ways from the Congress, after the Emergency period, he followed suit. Even after A.K. Antony and Chandy returned to the Congress party in the early 1980s, Chacko preferred to stay for longer in Sharad Pawar's company.
In the 2014 polls, Chacko was absent from the ground level state politics yet using his big influence in the party high command swapped his Thrissur seat with Chalakudy Congress Lok Sabha member Dhanapalan, who with much reluctance accepted it, and at the end when votes were counted the Congress party lost both the seats.
Due to his long stints in Delhi, Chacko had near to none following in the state and since his 2014 loss, he lost his grip in Delhi and even though he was put in a few committees' in the party in Kerala, with hardly any support for him, he found the going tough.
The only solace for the Congress party in Kerala, which goes to the polls on April 6, is Chacko's statement that he has no interest in joining the BJP.