THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pulls and pressures mounted by coalition partners will mark the UDF high-power committee meet slated here for Wednesday. The dominant partner Congress will have to do a balancing act in the face of rising demands from coalition partners.
The strong demand for a fifth minister by the IUML, the running feud between R Balakrishna Pillai and his minister son K B Ganesh Kumar, the demand of KC(Jacob) to induct Anoop Jacob into the cabinet without delay, the demand of KC (Mani) for one of the two Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant shortly and the choice of a UDF candidate for the Neyyattinkara bypoll will be the contentious issues expected to figure at the meet.
The political climate in the state resulting from the Piravom bypoll result and the rating of the UDF Government under Oommen Chandy has given a headstart for the Congress vis-a-vis the coalition partners, in spite of a slender majority of the UDF in the Assembly. If the IUML and KC(M) leadership has practical difficulties to go beyond a limit and upset the UDF boat, the KC(Jacob) has limited room for manoeuvre even when the party has demanded the same portfolio held by the late T M Jacob to its nominee and son Anoop Jacob. But the irrepressible R Balakrishna Pillai could prove to be a headache for the Congress with the UDF is no mood to disown his son Ganesh Kumar. The stance is on account of the fact that Ganesh is the lone MLA of the KC(B) and is capable enough to play his own political games. But the interventions of Nair Service Society in favour of Pillai could not be neglected by the UDF.