UDF in a fix as Congress, IUML lock horns

Chennithala’s ‘liability’ statement has triggered the dispute

The UDF Government, which is already on the back foot owing to the involvement of CM’s office staff in the solar scam, has landed in a tight spot with big-B Congress and the second largest constituent of the UDF, IUML, openly locking horns.

The rift between the two was triggered by the statement of KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala that the Muslim League was becoming a liability for the Congress, quoting former KPCC president the late C K Govindan Nair, the other day in Kozhikode. His statement was backed by senior Congress leaders, including K Muraleedharan and Aryadan Mohammed.

The IUML, which has fully backed the Congress in countering the Opposition charges in the solar scam issue, was quick to respond by convening an emergency meeting to discuss the issue and with its leadership registering a formal complaint with the Congress high command.

League state president Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal conveyed the party’s protest to AICC president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel over phone as per the decision of the meeting.

Patel has assured him that the issue would be looked into and the high command would intervene if needed and also pointed out that Ramesh had issued a clarification denying the statement.

“It is for everyone in the UDF, including the Congress, to decide whether we should continue the relationship and go forward. The meet evaluated Chennithala’s statement and the clarifications made later,’’ said E T Mohammed Basheer, member of the high power panel of the League.

The meet observed that the Congress could look after its own affairs and the League its own.

A League secretariat meet to be held on Thursday will discuss Ramesh’s statement and the political scenario in the state.

Though Ramesh on Sunday night itself issued a clarification to pacify the IUML, the other Congress leaders stuck to their guns.

“I am sticking to my statement. Through the statement, Ramesh expressed the feelings of Congress workers. Many are part of the UDF as they don’t get seats anywhere else. In the UDF, the Congress alone should not be making sacrifices always. If the IUML wants to be part of the UDF they should also be ready to make adjustments,’’ K Muraleedharan MLA said.

The Congress leaders of the ‘I’ group are fully backing the KPCC chief for his ‘’bold statement.’’

Aryadan Mohammed, a known critic of the IUML, had congratulated Chennithala the other day for his statement saying that it was only now Chennithala had become a true KPCC chief.

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