THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a curious development regarding speculations projecting Finance Minister K M Mani as Chief Minister candidate, Mani got an unexpected supporter on Wednesday - none other than Chief Minister Oommen Chandy himself.
While rejecting media reports in this regard as mere speculation, Chandy said Mani is fully eligible to become the Chief Minister considering his vast administrative experience and seniority but maintained that there’s no threat to the UDF Government. At the post-Cabinet press briefing, Chandy came down heavily on the media for trying to spread speculations and thereby putting its credibility at stake. Criticising some media for carrying reports without ownership, Chandy said, “Earlier, when there was a statement or speech it has an ownership. Nowadays you (media) are carrying reports which are not owned by anyone. Some media reports are trying to create issues that do not exist,’’ Chandy said.
When asked about statements issued by leaders like P C George that Mani was eligible to become the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy retorted by asking,
“Isn’t he eligible? I’m saying he’s. He’s a senior leader and has held various portfolios,’’ he said. Chandy said it’s all part of attempts by the CPM to uproot the government. “They have been trying to come to power. And once they fail, they say we are not attempting to form the government. The UDF will go united and there’s no threat to the UDF or the government,’’ Chandy said.