In what could be termed as one of the biggest- ever decisions in his political career, Oommen Chandy emerged the winner keeping his bete noire V M Sudheeran far behind on the vexed bar licence issue. In an apparent power tussle between the government and the party over the issue, Sud - heeran had been portrayed for long as the real Gandhian while Chandy&Co had to re - main mere spectators. In the end, Chandy succeeded in wriggling out of his pro-liquor image with a set of harsh mea - sures, thereby making his en - emies virtually bow before his political acumen.
Upping his ante, Chandy first made his trusted lieuten - ants set the ground. While Sudheeran was for keeping the 418 bars closed, Chandy had something more in mind. In what appeared as a major move, Chennithala who, till the other day was in favour of reopening the bars, came out hinting at total liquor prohibi - tion. With the Muslim League and the Kerala Congress too taking sides with the anti-li - quor move, it finally emerged as a collective decision.
Never - theless, a major advantage for League was that it could suc - cessfully come out of the Plus- Two debacle that has been haunting the government and the party, in particular, for sometime now. As the major constituents of the UDF dispensation had been throwing their weight behind closure of the bars, mi - nor partners like CMP, RSP, KC( Jacob) and KC(B) had also toed their line.