The political prospects of the Jose K Mani faction of Kerala Congress (M), ousted from the United Democratic Front (UDF) on Monday, seems to be waning with the CPI putting up roadblocks for its probable foray into the ruling front and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy endorsing its expulsion.
The Communist Party of India (CPI), the second biggest constituent of the ruling Left Democratic Front, on Tuesday tried to nip in the bud Jose faction's chances of an entry into the alliance.
CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran was highly sarcastic when he said the LDF was not a ventilator for the ailing Jose K Mani faction.
“There are no talks of inducting the party into the LDF,” Rajendran told reporters.
The CPI had vehemently opposed the move to induct the Kerala Congress (M) to the LDF when party founder K M Mani was alive. “Our stand is the same. There are ideological differences between the UDF and LDF. Let Jose K Mani's party decide on its future,” the CPI leader said.
Reacting to Rajendran's comments, KC(M) leader Roshy Augustine said they have neither thought of shifting alliance nor approached anyone with such a request.
UDF fulfilled responsibility: Chandy
In his first reaction to Monday's political developments, Congress veteran Oommen Chandy said the UDF only fulfilled its responsibility by taking action against Jose K Mani faction.
“They violated the consensus made by the UDF leaders about the Kottayam district panchayat president post. I agree that there was no written agreement, but there was a consensus. We had to ensure that the consensus was followed. We were forced to act as the Jose faction kept saying that there was no such contract,” Chandy said.
However, he said talks with Jose faction were not a closed chapter.
A defiant Jose K Mani said his faction did not want any talks with the UDF, which insulted them.
He said some Congress leaders tried to destroy his party, and termed the UDF a wrecked ship.
Meanwhile, the Jose faction suffered a setback as party's Kottayam district secretary Josemon Mundackal quit.
The Congress-led UDF on Monday booted out its ally for defying its directive to vacate the president post of the Kottayam district panchayat as per a consensus reached earlier.
Kerala Congress (Mani) is the party founded by UDF veteran late K M Mani and is one faction of it is now led by his son and Rajya Sabha member Jose K Mani.
Incidentally, the erstwhile Kerala Congress (Mani) comprises of two factions – one presently led by Mani and the other led by veteran legislator P J Joseph.
Practically, for the past one year they have been functioning as two different entities.