Temporary truce in Kerala Congress

A temporary truce in the group war in the Kerala unit of the Congress over allocation of a fifth cabinet berth to the party’s major ally, the Indian Union Muslim League in the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), is in the offing.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Wed 18 Apr 2012, 12:09 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:40 AM

The ground for the truce is being prepared by Congress Working Committee member and Defence Minister A K Antony following requests from several leaders from the state for his intervention to resolve the issues amicably. Antony, who was keeping away from factional activities for some time now, has talked to both Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala and asked them to sort out the issues that have soured their relations.

Antony talked to the KPCC president over phone. Party sources said the two senior leaders will sit together in a couple of days. As a prelude to the meeting, Chennithala and Chandy have reportedly asked their supporters to stop the open statements on the issues that have triggered the present troubles.

The rift between the two widened after the chief minister announced the reallocation of portfolios of ministers subsequent to the induction of Manjalamkuzhi Ali of the IUML and Anoop Jacob of the Kerala Congress (Jacob) into his ministry.

Chennithala and his supporters viewed the action taken by the chief minister without consulting him as part of his attempt to weaken his position in the party and bring the entire party organization under Chandy’s direct control.

The KPCC chief’s camp has been airing views that the chief minister had torpedoed the formula suggested by the party to deny a fifth cabinet berth to the IUML deliberately to clip the wings of Chennithala. Chennithala camp says that the chief minister should have discussed the reshuffle with the KPCC president if he had no ulterior motives. — news@khaleejtimes.com

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