Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday failed to turn up for a crucial political affairs committee (PAC) meeting of the Congress party here, and senior Congress leaders were hard put to explain his absence.
State Congress president V.M. Sudheeran played down the absence, stating that Chandy was busy.
"There are no issues in our party, and Chandy expressed his inability to take part in today's meeting citing other engagements. He has been called up by party vice president Rahul Gandhi and they will meet on Monday in Delhi," Sudheeran told reporters.
The political affairs committee of the party is the highest state level party body. In the meeting those close to Chandy defended his absence, while those not in his faction, including Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson P.J. Kurian and senior leader P.C. Chacko, pointed out that it was not fair for him to keep away from the meeting.
Chandy who was present in the capital city after taking part in a marriage of his close relative left for Kochi, while the PAC began its meeting at the state party headquarters.
Chandy has been upset with the party high command ever since the 14 district party chiefs were named last month, with many of his close aides ignored. Since then he has been reportedly sulking and did not take part in two meetings called by the party high command of state-wide party leaders in Delhi.
AICC leader K.V. Thangkabalu, who participated in the meeting as an observer, also failed to convince the media on the absence of Chandy. He pointed out that there are no issues in the party, and that the media is "out to create issues".
"There are no issues and Chandy is a very tall national leader of our party. He is in the forefront of all protests of the party against the national and state governments. You (media) are creating issues," said Thangkabalu to probing reporters on the absence of Chandy.
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