Thiruvananthapuram: Only two days after the Bharatiya Janata Party national leadership decided to move its Kerala state unit president Kummanam Rajasekharan as the governor of Mizoram, the Congress leadership has decided to move former state chief minister Oommen Chandy to a new role.

Chandy has been appointed general secretary of the All India Congress Committee in charge of Andhra Pradesh by the party president, Rahul Gandhi.

Recently, the Congress president had given a similar role to two other Congress leaders from Kerala, K.C. Venugopal and P.C. Vishnunath, putting them in charge of Karnataka, where the party managed to grab power despite being second to the BJP in the number of seats won.

Chandy had been keeping a low profile since his fall from power in May 2016 when the Left Democratic Front swept to power as his ministry got caught in corruption allegations in the months leading to the assembly elections.

There had been reports that Chandy was likely to take up the post of president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. Quashing those rumours, he has been put in charge of Andhra Pradesh, in place of another senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

Not many were convinced, however, whether the new role is indeed a move by Chandy to step into national politics, ending his long innings in Kerala state politics.

On social media, some wondered whether Chandy’s shift to Andhra Pradesh was a “punishment transfer”.

Similar doubts were also expressed about BJP’s decision to move Kummanam Rajasekharan from the post of BJP state president to governor of Mizoram. Some political observers opined that he was being moved to ensure a more aggressive leadership in Kerala.

Incidentally, both BJP and Congress have moved their senior leaders out of the state within a space of two days, and on the eve of the by-election in the Chengannur constituency, where the BJP, Congress and the Communist Party of India Marxist are all claiming bright prospects of winning.