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No generational change, but factional and communal balance in Congress’s Kerala overhaul

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Rahul Gandhi’s rise in the Congress hierarchy was welcomed with glee by younger Congressmen and with trepidation by the older lot in Kerala. Turns out that all the emotions RaGa aroused have met their reality check. He has picked 73-year-old Mullappally Ramachandran, a non-controversial and rather staid veteran from North Kerala, to head the state Congress. With Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan projecting the aura of a strong leader, BJP breathing down the Congress’s neck, youngsters unenthused by Congress’s lacklustre ground game, and minorities deserting the sinking ship, the party needed a popular and vigorous leader to lead it into battle.

But Congress leaders can breathe a sigh of relief. There is going to be no young or popular leader going to break out of the pecking order and leap over their shoulders to the top. Rahul Gandhi has chosen to play it safe. He has picked a potentially ineffectual face, a leader who the factions believe they can keep in........

© The Times of India