UDF gets big jolt as K M Mani wants to stay equidistant

Mr Mani indirectly warned the Congress against threatening his party.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Congress chief K.M. Mani gave enough hints on Saturday about quitting the UDF saying that his party would maintain equidistance policy towards Congress and LDF. However, Mr Mani stopped short of announcing the party’s stand towards the BJP-led NDA amid strong rumours that the Pala strongman was keen for a tie up with them. Inaugurating the leadership camp at Charal-kunnu in Pathanamthitta district, he said there was no mutual understanding, faith or love left in the UDF. His party had suffered only humiliation, neglect, persecution and maltreatment.

Mr Mani indirectly warned the Congress against threatening his party. “Nobody should be under the impression that they can intimidate Kerala Congress. We are capable of standing on our own feet and there was no need for us to go and beg before anyone,” he added. The former finance minister said a concrete decision on the future of his party would be declared at the concluding session of the camp on Sunday.

“I don’t have the desire to sit on the chair always. The Kerala Congress has always stood for the farmers interests. Nobody can destroy the party of farmers and working class,” he said and added that his party did not nurse any grudge against anyone. The Kerala Congress chief said that his party would laud good things and oppose bad things of the Congress and the LDF. “If they do good work we will appreciate. But if they do something wrong we will be the first to criticise,” he said.

Mr Mani said the intolerance of Congress towards the Kerala Congress began from the time of Panampilly Govinda Menon. “Panampilly Govinda Menon predicted that Kerala Congress will be decimated within six months of its formation. However, my party is standing in Kerala politics as shining sun for the last 50 years,’ he said. He took a dig at veteran Congress leader M.M. Jacob who demanded the resignation of Kerala Congress MLAs if they decided to quit UDF.

“In that case the Congress MLAs should also resign as they too won with the support of Kerala Congress,” Mr Mani shot back. He said CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran’s statement that the LDF would not accept his party reminded him of the “grapes are sour” story. “Let me tell Pannyan that we have not submitted any application before the LDF for gaining entry,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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