THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress high-power Political Affairs Committee which met at the KPCC headquarters Indira Bhavan here on Saturday decided to have local level tie-up with the Welfare Party of India (WPI) in the local body elections. However, it decided against inducting P C Thomas into the UDF as he will have to merge his party with the P J Joseph faction of the Kerala Congress (Mani) before being allowed into the front.
KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran told reporters after the PAC meeting that the campaign slogan for the local body elections will be ‘one vote against corruption’ implying that the Opposition will be highlighting gold smuggling case, LIFE Mission scam and Bineesh Kodiyeri’s alleged involvement in Bengaluru drug case in its bid to put the ruling LDF on the mat.
High drama prevailed at the PAC meeting which saw senior Congress MLA, V D Satheesan lashing out against the Congress leadership for forging an alliance with the WPI. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala maintained that the alliance with the WPI is being forged only at the local level where directives have been sent to the grassroots in time for the local body elections.
“When the UDF decided to have local level tie-up with the WPI, they suddenly became a communal party. Majority of the senior Congress leaders chose to keep mum when Satheesan lashed out against them. Mullappally also invited the wrath of Satheesan and Benny Behanan, MP, for being unaware of the happenings at Indira Bhavan,” a PAC member told TNIE.
Both Satheesan and Benny Behannan recalled that Mullappally was not aware about the formation of an election sub-committee to finalise the candidature on the basis of a consensus in Ernakulam. The PAC also decided to highlight the slew of corruption charges against the LDF government in the local body polls. Majority of the leaders underscored the need to field young leaders and fresh faces, with winnability being the sole criterion.
“UDF will win the civic polls. We will be releasing our manifesto soon where our poll slogan is ‘one vote against corruption,” said Mullappally. The PAC remained a divided house on the issue of Manjeswar MLA, M C Kamaruddin’s arrest.