THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Stepping up pressure on Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the UDF Government, KPCC vice-president V D Satheesan MLA spilled the beans in the open on Friday and said that the dispensation is under the dark shadows of corruption.
A little short of seeking a leadership change in the government, Satheesan, in an interview given to a private news channel, said that such a demand is not being raised only because of the fact that local bodies elections are round the corner.
‘’We have fears whether a setback is in store for the party in the upcoming polls,’’ he said. He also maintained that Ramesh Chennithala is totally fit to become the Chief Minister. Satheesan also revealed that the Congress high command has been apprised of the current state of affairs in the state. ‘’The high command is keeping a close watch. A logical and appropriate decision will be taken by the Congress leadership,’’ he said.
He said since the local bodies elections are nearing, which is very important from the point of view of local Congress workers, many of those like him are exercising restraint as it may affect the polls prospects otherwise.
‘’In the name of leadership, we don’t want to spoil their chances. Bitter wrangling had occurred in the past over demand for leadership change. There are platforms in the party to present differing views and assessment. We have access with the Congress high command also,’’ he said. ‘’The developments in the state are being updated by them,’’ Satheesan added.
Continuing his plain speak, Satheesan said airing of opinion is for public good and survival of the Congress party. ‘’Let the high command take a decision. Let it be gauged whether Oommen Chandy could tide over the present crisis. Rest of the things need to be discussed only after that,’’ he said.
However, senior leader and Congress Working Committee member A K Antony dismissed the talk of leadership change. ‘’I’m not aware of any discussions on that score,’’ he told mediapersons, when confronted here on Friday.
Satheesan claimed that the ‘A’ and ‘I’ factions are equal forces in the Congress state unit. ‘’Congress has an array of able leaders and, among them, Ramesh Chennithala has a prominent place. Ramesh Chennithala is the most presentable face among them,’’ he said.
Satheesan said that who all should contest the Assembly polls next time will be decided by the high command. ‘’The party leadership would decide whether Chandy should contest the polls. In the 2011 polls, it was Sonia Gandhi who decided that Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala should be in fray,’’ he pointed out.
Satheesan reiterated his stand that Congress should have taken a politically wise and appropriate stand. ‘’I’ve made my points clear when allegations of corruption against K M Mani surfaced. The Chief Minister is duty bound to keep ministers in his team on the leash,’’ he said. He expressed concern on who is going to protect the Congress if all in the party are working to protect others. ‘’Public workers should have fear of the people like believers have in God,’’ he remarked.
He also made a forceful plea to revise the priorities of the government. ‘’A deep fiscal crisis has come to stay. Expenditure of the government should match its income. Money should be given for market intervention arms of government to stem price levels’’ Satheesan prescribed.