THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The statement by Government Chief Whip P C George on Friday that it was up to Finance Minister K M Mani to decide whether to present the budget or not is being seen as a ploy to keep the controversies surrounding his party supremo alive.
George, who has proved to be an albatross round the neck of K M Mani, through the statement, has put the pressure back on the Kerala Congress and the UDF. The Opposition LDF, keen to take maximum political advantage of the other controversies currently in the air had apparently become less aggressive in the bar bribery case. Though Mani was not willing to take cognizance or react to the statement made by George, he made his displeasure known by issuing a subtle warning that he will not be one to be cowed down by threats. Mani also said that if the UDF government remains in power, none other than him would present the budget.
“I know what to do with George,” Mani told Express. “He is trying to cut the plantain when the house is burning,” he added.
In a recent UDF meeting, as well as in a high-power committee meet of the KC(M), George had promised not to worsen matters and give leverage to the Opposition. Mani is caught in a Catch-22 situation as George knows that he would not take any action against him at this juncture.
“George wants to gain a martyr image at any cost and somehow pitch tent in the Left camp. He is working according to a plan and a time frame but we are more prepared,” said a senior leader. George is likely to face rough weather after the end of the budget session, sources told ‘Express’.