By Praksh M. Swamy
Long Lsland, NY: Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi and head of Foreign Affairs Department of All India Congress Committee (AICC) in New Delhi Dr Karan Singh have deputed secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) and Member of Lok Sabha from Kerala Kodikunnil Suresh to visit New York to gather first hand information on the internecine in the Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) feuds and present a report on return.
Suresh, addressing the leaders of the Indian National Overseas Congress (I) led by George Abraham at Diwan restaurant in Port Washington, Long Island, recently said he was briefed on the entire happenings in the INOC by none other than Dr. Karan Singh following the decision of the Congress High Command to replace Dr. Surinder Malhotra with George Abraham as president of the INOC - USA.
“I have come here as an independent observer with a mission to gather as much information as possible and report the same to the party High Command faithfully so that the party leaders can take suitable action,” he said.
Following refusal of Dr. Malhotra to step down and transfer powers to George Abraham and claimed that INOC belongs to him and no one has the authority to effect any change, the Foreign Affairs Department de-recognized INOC and instructed George Abaham and his team to form INOC (I). Dr. Karan Singh also declared that INOC is only Malhotra’s personal organization and nothing to do with the Congress Party in India.
However, the function was boycotted by Dr. Malhotra and his supporters many of whom are either various chapter presidents or part of the new committee appointed by Dr. Karan Singh. “The future of INOC (I) is safe and I urge all the leaders and members to work hard in unison to propagate the ideology of the party and be a bridge between India and the US,” Suresh appealed.
“I see lot of enthusiasm among Congress workers in the US and have opened city chapters of INOC Kerala Wing in the last week in Florida and Texas and I see a sign of positive growth in the community,” he said.
“Indian politics has changed of late and regional parties have gained an upper hand and trying to dictate terms to the federal government. One-party system has been replaced with multi-party system and this sometimes retards growth as the party could not fulfill its election promises or carry forward its noble objectives due to coalition pressures. The Congress will appeal to the people during the next election to give the party a clear and absolute majority so that it could fulfill the aspiration of the people,” he added.
George Abraham, president of INOC (I), welcoming the chief guest, traced the history of INOC in the US and said the team would not deviate from the policies of the Congress Party but do everything to strengthen the hands of the party leaders and work for welfare of NRIs and PIOs.
Shudh Parkash Singh, national vice president of INOC(I), said Suresh had won the Parliamentary seat five times from Kottarakara in Kerala and is considered a national leader of repute of the party back home. As Congress Parliamentary Party leader, Suresh played a key role in national politics under the direct leadership of Sonia Gandhi.
Sukvinder Ranu, president of Indian Association of Long Island (IALI); Harbachan Singh, president and CEO of Sikh American Friendship Foundation, Executive Committee members - Mohinder Singh Gilzian and Puman Singh, Bipin Sagarkar, founder of Nehru Foundation, Kanwal Sra, national treasurer of INOC (I) spoke on the occasion.
George Abraham announced that the executive committee of the organization has formally approved the formation of Tamil Nadu chapter of the INOC (I) and John Joseph, a Long Island, New York ,entrepreneur has been appointed as its founder-president.
Making an announcement at the meet and greet program organized by INOC (I) to welcome Kodikunnil Suresh, Abraham said although the application for the formation of the Tamil Nadu chapter was made almost an year ago, it was kept pending for various reasons and the new committee after taking charge cleared it immediately.
Abraham said the INOC (I) would try to include Congress sympathizers from various regions from India to strengthen the foundation and add diversity to its functioning. Suresh said Tamil Nadu wing would add vibrancy to the organization and wished the new team all success.
Chelladurai Albert, chairman and adviser of the Tamil Nadu chapter, introducing the new team to the committee members, chapter presidents and invitees, said Tamil Nadu was in the forefront of freedom struggle as leaders like Kamaraj, Rajaji, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, and Maha Kavi Bharathi worked hand in hand with Gandhi to free India from the British Raj.
Albert said for the past two decades the federal government was being supported by parties from Tamil Nadu and the state has achieved the distinction of having high literacy rate and industrialization.
John Joseph, who is into medical supplies and dialysis center business in Copiague in Long Island, thanked the INOC (I) leadership for granting permission to start the Tamil Nadu chapter and assured the committee that the new chapter would be inaugurated in two months by president of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee B.S. Gnanadesikan, MP, and Union Minister for Shipping and Transport G.K. Vasan in New York. Meena Venkat, secretary, proposed a vote of thanks.
The following are the new committee members: President -John Joseph; Chairman/Advisor: Chelladurai Albert; General Secretary: Meenakshi Venkat;Treasurer: Ravi Raj; Vice President- Gajendran Ganesan; Youth Congress Coordinator- Sudharshan Mohan and Committee Member Koshy Oomen