THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF leadership has initiated damage-control measures with convener M M Hassan calling up the RSP state leadership after the latter threatened to not attend the next meeting of the front. Following the RSP’s threat, Hassan on Monday said the UDF meeting would held be on September 6 and that the Congress would hold bilateral talks with RSP.
Immediately after the UDF rout in the assembly elections, the RSP leadership had urged the front to hold bilateral talks. But the Congress leadership got busy with the party district president selection process. The Congress’ political affairs committee had also appointed subcommittees to study the poll debacle and the local Congress leaders blamed Kerala Congress Joseph faction. It is reliably learnt that the RSP leadership or their candidates were not blamed for the poll failure. The subcommittees’ findings will be discussed only later.
RSP state secretary A A Azeez told reporters here on Monday that the party decided in its secretariat meeting to boycott the next UDF meeting. Though he did not say that the party would sever ties with UDF, he warned that if the current turmoil in the Congress is not put to rest, the front will face far-reaching consequences.
“The UDF should correct its stand. We had given a letter to the UDF leadership on July 28 expressing our displeasure at not holding talks. But even after 40 days, they have not convened a bilateral meeting. Hence, we have decided not to attend UDF meeting,” said Azeez.
RSP leader Shibu Baby John confirmed to TNIE that a decision on whether to attend the next UDF meeting on September 6 will be taken at the party state committee meeting on September 4. “We were blackmailed by the Congress leadership and thrust certain constituencies like Mattannoor on us where the RSP doesn’t have any influence. At the eleventh hour, there was no other option but accept such seats,” said Shibu Baby John.
However, senior RSP leader and MP N K Premachandran is not keen on leaving the UDF after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had denied him the seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the party was in LDF. It was Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala who brought the RSP to UDF following Pinarayi’s ‘scoundrel’ comment against Premachandran.