Kerala Congress (Mani) leader K.M. Mani’s ploy to seek CPI-M support in election to the post of President of the Kottayam district panchayat has not gone down well with five of the party’s six legislators as well as former ally Congress….reports Asian Lite News
Former minister Mani is one of the legislators of the party which was part of the Congress-led United Democratic Front since the 1980s.
After Mani walked out of the UDF last year citing ill-treatment by the Congress, the six legislators, including Mani, now sit as a separate bloc in the 140-member Kerala assembly.
Kerala Congress-Mani candidate Zacharias Kuthiraveli won the post of Kottayam district panchayat President on Wednesday after Mani accepted Communist Party of India-Marxist support. As a result, Congress candidate Sunny Pambady lost.
“It is political treachery by Mani and the Congress will not forgive the treatment he meted out to us,” said state Congress President M.M. Hassan.
Mani’s party includes the erstwhile Kerala Congress-Joseph faction, which merged with Kerala Congress (Mani) ahead of the 2011 assembly polls. Its two legislators — P.J. Joseph and Mons Joseph — said the political move was not discussed within the party.
“Barring Mani, the remaining five MLAs are deeply hurt with Wednesday’s development. Though they have not expressed displeasure in the open, we feel they will open up soon,” a senior Congress leader told IANS.
Mani told reporters here on Thursday that the Kottayam development was a local arrangement.
“I don’t understand why so much noise is being made because we sought CPI-M support. Don’t forget that even (Congress leader) A.K. Antony (in the 1980s) joined hands with the CPI-M. No one can say that the CPI-M is untouchable… we have not moved an application for entry to any political front,” the former minister said.
Senior Congress leaders Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala and K.C. Joseph flayed what they called the “treachery” by Mani’s party and said he could forget about returning to the UDF fold.