Following the Kerala local body election results, the UDF, and mainly the Congress party, has been under tremendous pressure to re-examine the conditions that have led to their situation. Following this, the All India Congress Committee has decided to appoint AICC secretaries to Assam and Kerala, attached to the General Secretary in charge of the state. Moreover, the two states are also particularly important as both will be heading to Assembly elections in the next year, and the party wants to be prepared. One of the interesting new appointees in Kerala under Tariq Anwar is Ivan D’Souza, who began his political journey through the Indian Catholic Youth Movement.
Central Kerala was touted to be a UDF bastion until 2019 when LDF’s Mani C Kappan took Kerala Congress (M) KM Mani’s seat in the by-election following the latter’s death. In the latest local body elections, the UDF lost their position as the LDF strengthened theirs thanks to Jose K Mani and Kerala Congress (M) moving away from the UDF to the former. Moreover, political experts are of the opinion that Congress has lost a share of the Christian votes they enjoyed in Central Kerala as well as in many other parts. Analysts claim that following the Kothamangalam church issue, Pinarayi Vijayan was able to secure a Christian vote share from the Jacobite faction, and in Thiruvananthapuram, other Christian factions turned to the LDF fearing BJP’s growth.
Taking all of this into consideration, and Ivan D’Souza’s speciality, experts believe that he might be able to get the Christian votes back. He has also been a Member of the Karnataka Legislative Council and an active participant of protests against the Hindutva forces following attacks against Christians in 2008 in Karnataka. He is also a social activist, who has voiced his concerns against moral policing, and he is very close to the Christian communities. AICC and Congress’ central leadership hopes to make enough changes to get back votes and prepare for next years’ assembly election in Kerala.
The other two secretaries appointed to Kerala are former MP P Vishwanathan and PV Mohan. All three of them will report to Tariq Anwar who is the General Secretary in charge of Kerala. The AICC has also appointed MLAs Anirudh Singh and Vikas Upadhyay, and Prithviraj Prabhakar Sathe under General Secretary Jitendra Singh for Assam