Hours after a Kerala Congress (Mani) faction was suspended from UDF, its chairman Jose K Mani hit out at the UDF leaders saying they were suffering from "selective dementia". He said no understanding was reached with the UDF on the post of the Kottayam District President. "We had signed many other agreements and had honoured it, too. But in Kottayam we rejected the pact proposed by the UDF," Mani told reporters at the party headquarters in Kottayam on Monday.
"There can be an agreement only when both the sides approve of the formula. In this case, we did not and it is now being imposed on us," he sad.
He said the Joseph faction wanted the post to be given to a turncoat as reward for jumping over to their side. "No party can allow such a thing to happen," Mani said. He said the two Joseph faction members in the Kottayam district panchayat were with the Mani faction even the night before Sebastian Kulathungal was anointed president. He produced documents to show that both these members had approved of Sebastian's leadership.
"If violation of an agreement was the UDF's big issue, it should have ousted P J Joseph a thousand times," Mani said. He said that during the Pala by-election, Joseph had regularly made statements that weakened the UDF prospects. "He made a statement even on the day of the election," he said. Mani said Joseph had even lauded the LDF government at a time when the opposition leader was trying his best to expose the LDF government's failings. He said in many other local bodies, like Vathikkudy panchayat in Idukki, Akalakunnam panchyt n Kottayam and Balal Panchayat in Kasaragod, the Joseph faction had worked against the interests of the UDF.
"The UDF is very particular about Kottayam but have conveniently forgotten the many other violations. This selective justice is injustice. It can also be termed selective amnesia," Mani said. He also gave an emotional pitch to his faction's ouster saying that the UDF had booted out "K M Mani sir and his politics."
The KC(M) faction led by Jose K Mani was suspended from the UDF on Monday for refusing to hand over the post of the Kottayam District Panchayat president to the P J Joseph faction.
“They don't deserve to be in the UDF,” UDF convenor Benny Behanan said, announcing the decision to keep the Jose K Mani faction out of the UDF.
Behanan said that there was an understanding that the nominee of the Jose K Mani faction would step down as Kottayam District Panchayat president and make way for the Joseph faction's nominee. “Even when there was an understanding, they publicly denied such an agreement existed,” Behanan sad.
However, Jose K Mani denied that any such arrangement was agreed upon and said
Jose K Mani alleged that UDF leadership has not hold a single discussion with us to sort out the issue. He said that there is a deliberate political agenda behind UDF's decision and alleged “selective injustice” towards his party.
"This is not a political issue, but a matter of fairness. We had been asked to follow a non-existing arrangement. Asking to yield the position to flip-flopper is mere injustice,” Jose said.
“This is a matter of KC(M)'s self-respect. We will not surrender it to anyone,” he said.