Issues raised by George put UDF in disorder
Contrary to the usual practice in coalition politics before the elections, where partners bury the hatchet in a hurry, the incumbent United Democratic Front (UDF) appears to be a divided camp thanks to a raft of issues ignited by P C George, the unbridled Government Chief Whip and representative of Kerala Congress (M).
What adds to the confusion in Central Kerala, the area where the third largest UDF partner enjoys an upper hand over Congress, is the studied silence of K M Mani in clearing the mess made by P C George, who refuses to toe the line. When the party vice-chairman continues his capricious journey and has been acerbic on his criticism of Congress leaders irrespective of their profiles, Mani has been left with no option but to take a decision the sooner or later. An emergency steering committee meeting of the party slated to be held on October 23, in Thiruvananthapuram, will discuss the matter in detail. Barring a few senior leaders of KC (M) who are staunch Mani loyalists, no other leaders, especially in the Joseph faction, have shown semblance of support for George. Moreover, the majority of the party workers cutting across groups are against the berserk march of George.
“Though P C George has created a raft of issues and drawn severe flak from various quarters, the critics have not turned towards KC(M) or its other leaders so far owing to the affability of K M Mani. However, the party may fall in trouble if the leadership does not rein in George at the earliest,” a KC (M) leader said.
Meanwhile, the workers and other coalition partners are still confused over the inordinate delay in taking a decision as there are doubts among workers whether he is letting George for making a conducive platform for switching over to Left Democratic Front (LDF) to reap the benefits in the coming Lok Sabha elections. In the meantime, there are a few, who firmly believe that the supremo is held ransom by George for reasons unknown. Mani is well aware that the Kottayam constituency will not be a cake walk for his son and incumbent, Jose K Mani, in the 2014 elections.