Clamour to get K M Mani back in UDF

Front leaders, including Congress want KC(M) chairman to return.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a brief lull, UDF leaders including the Congress are clamouring for Kerala Congress (M) chairman K.M. Mani’s return to the fold. KPCC president M.M. Hassan called for his return when Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala and former chief minister Oommen Chandy had already raised the issue. However, Mr Mani is firm in his stand that he does not have any plans to return to the front as he is apprehensive of Congress leaders in Kottayam “betraying” his son and Kottayam MP Jose K. Mani.

Kerala Congress (Jacob) chairman Johnny Nellore was the first UDF leader to publicly demand to the leadership that Mr Mani be brought back. Later, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, Muslim League leader and Malappuram MP elect P.K. Kunhalikutty echoed similar sentiments. However, Mr Mani declined the offer and preferred to stand aloof from the UDF, but chose to support Mr Kunhalikutty in the Malappuram byelection. On Tuesday, KPCC president M.M. Hassan told reporters in Thrissur that the UDF meeting scheduled to take place on Friday will discuss the issue of bringing back Mr Mani to the front.

“Everyone in the UDF is keen on bringing Mr Mani back to our Front. We will discuss it in detail at the next UDF meeting scheduled to take place on Friday,” Mr Hassan said. Meanwhile, Mr Mani told reporters that he doesn’t have any permanent disapproval or too much love towards anyone. He informed that as per merit his party will take an appropriate decision. “We are not returning to UDF right now. KC(M) got a stake in the UDF’s victory in Malappuram byelection,” Mr Mani said.

A senior UDF leader told this newspaper that he is apprehensive of his son’s future as a Parliament-arian as local Congress leaders in Kottayam will ensure his defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. “Congress will give the Kottayam seat to KC(M). But chances of local level Congress leaders ensuring Jose K. Mani’s defeat cannot be ruled out,” said a UDF leader. At the same time, majority of KC(M) leaders are averse to joining the NDA which made Mr Mani abandon the move.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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