Even when the recently-surfaced open rift between Forest Minister K B Ganesh Kumar and Government Chief Whip P C George is giving sleepless nights to the UDF government, the latter has once again landed the ruling front in a soup.
The calculated move of the CPM to put the irrepressible George in the right place by levelling a charge that he had made a vain bid to cross over to the LDF with a band of four legislators in the days prior to the Piravom bypoll, has kicked up another controversy in the political spectrum of the state.
CPM leader E P Jayarajan’s missive against George came close on the heels of the tall claims made by the latter in the course of an interview telecast on Friday on a TV channel.
George had claimed that three more MLAs from the CPM would have migrated to the UDF as in the case of R Selvaraj, but for the strong reservations aired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala.
Jayarajan claimed that the overtures of George were rejected outright as the CPM was against toppling a government and also since it was a person like George who had made the moves. He also disclosed that George had demanded a ministerial berth for himself and another MLA.
However, George reacted in his characteristic style and asked whether anyone will believe Jayarajan’s words.
’The DYFI were after me in the streets during the period mentioned by Jayarajan,’’ he remarked. With controversies emerging at regular intervals, the UDF government’s second year in office is also proving to be cumbersome, even when consistent attempts are being made for a new beginning in the development front.
‘’It is sad that some leaders in the UDF are not realising the sentiments of Kerala society. Those who have promoted such forces should have a re-think,’’ said KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala.
Maintaining that the recent developments centering around George and Forest Minister K B Ganesh Kumar did not bode well for the UDF or government, Ramesh however hoped that the issues will be sorted out through talks.
‘’George will have to be prevailed upon now and then to control his statements,’’ he said. UDF coalition partners like SJD and CMP have expressed resentment over the latest developments.
‘’Controversies like this are recurring in the UDF since there is no discussion on substantial issues and going by the current trend personal likes and dislikes are gaining prominence among political parties. Even on policy matters, serious discussions are not taking place.
Had there been such an approach on issues like regularisation of paddyfield conversion or the Nelliampathy estates issue for which a sub-committee was formed but not met even once, the entire controversies would have been avoided,’’ said SJD secretary general Varghese George.