THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the Muslim League launched its protest n Wednesday against the reservation in government jobs and educational courses for the economically weaker sections of people in forward communities, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Congress saw V D Satheesan, MLA, flaying the League leadership for the haste with which it went ahead with its protest.
He said the IUML should have shown the decorum to discuss the protest meeting with the UDF leadership first. While the PAC welcomed the introduction of the economic reservation, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala clarified that the IUML stand was always against such reservation.
The PAC meeting was held at Indira Bhavan on a day the Syro-Malabar Church had lashed out at the IUML for its stand on the reservation on the basis of economic backwardness.
An editorial written by Changanassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Perumthottam in ‘Deepika’ had come down heavily on the Congress for not rallying behind them at the national level. The decision by the IUML to hold a protest on Wednesday with the support of the SNDP had not gone down well with a section of PAC members, especially Satheesan who claimed that the Congress was not taken into confidence before P K Kunhalikutty, MP, decided to go ahead with their protest.
It should be recalled that in 2019, the Muslim League had criticised the Centre's decision to implement 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections in the general category and termed it as unconstitutional and a violation of the basic principles of reservation.
In the cabinet meeting held on October 21, the LDF government decided to amend the reservation provisions in the Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules to implement 10 per cent reservation in government jobs for the financially backward sections in the general category.
Congress has always welcomed the economic reservation. After the PAC meeting, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, who attended it via video conferencing from Malappuram, told reporters that the Congress stands by its earlier position and will not oppose the economic reservation.
“The Congress does not have any change in its stand as the party’s position on economic reservation was already included in the manifesto. The Left is trying to create communal polarisation with vested interests in mind,” said Mullappally.
It is learnt that after the PAC meeting, Chennithala and Kunhalikutty held a telephonic discussion.
Meanwhile, the PAC decided that P C Thomas’ Kerala Congress and P C George’s Kerala Janapaksham, which are now with the NDA, need not be welcomed into the UDF as of now.
K Muraleedharan, MP, who has been acting as a corrective force within the party, was criticised by KPCC vice-president P C Vishnunath. But Muraleedharan’s demand that the policy decisions pertaining to the party have to be discussed in the PAC first was agreed on. Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, and P C Chacko also came up with the same demand.
The PAC meeting also surmised that the chief minister and the LDF government have become unpopular, but the LDF MLAs are still popular as they have focused on development activities in their constituencies.