Mani said that the Congress could not expect his party’s support when its district committee had sidelined Kerala Congress (M) members there.

Blame district Congress for Kottayam alliance with CPI M no statewide tie-up KM ManiImage Courtesy: PTI
news Politics Thursday, May 04, 2017 - 13:11

The unexpected coalition between the Kerala Congress (M) (KM Mani faction) and CPI (M) and its victory in the Kottayam district Panchayat elections on Wednesday, has led to a public war of words between the UDF and the Mani faction. 

The Kerala Congress (M), a long-time constituent of the United Democratic Front had quit the coalition in August last year, following differences with the party. 

Soon after the results of the Kottayam panchayat elections were announced on Wednesday, the UDF launched a public attack against KM Mani and his party, for "betraying" their contract – that it would back the Congress in the district panchayat election. The election was conducted after the resignation of former president Joshy. 

Also read: As KM Mani-CPI (M) alliance wins Kottayam Panchayat polls, Congress alleges cheating

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President MM Hassan and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had termed Mani's action as "political cheating of the extreme kind" and accused the party of crossing all lines by aligning with the Left party. 

Soon after these accusations emerged, Mani feigned ignorance about the coalition and said that it was the decision of the "pained" party workers who were sidelined by the Kottayam District Congress Committee (DCC).

Addressing a press meet on Thursday, Mani reiterated this stand.

"How will Kottayam DCC get our support if they constantly hurt our party workers? Our party workers are fed up of listening to their abuses and the pained party workers decided not to go ahead with supporting the Congress," Mani said. 

On the backlash over the unexpected coalition Mani remarked, "Every political party has at some time or the other attacked us. That's how politics works. The question of betrayal is therefore not relevant. Also, the alliance is not at the state level, the alliance is only in Kottayam. There will always be forces that want to bring us down, considering that we are a strong political party in the state. We have proved time and again that we can survive against all odds."

Mani also dismissed the UDF’s threat that the KC (M) had closed the door to returning to the UDF by aligning with the CPI (M).

"Kerala Congress has neither approached UDF nor the LDF with requests to join them. We are not that kind of a party, we have an identity of our own. We have many a time fought the election alone and even won. Also, no party should forget that it will need the support of other parties at some point or the other. Congress will need the support of KC (M) and we will also need their support. If the Congress maintains that they do not want it, then even we are not keen on extending support," said Mani. 

Stating that the KC (M) has never been a blind supporter of any party or coalition, Mani said that the party is neither anti-UDF nor anti-Congress.

Rubbishing speculations of a state-level alliance between KC (M) and CPI (M), Mani took a dig at the CPI, the second largest constituent in the ruling LDF.

"CPI is worried that we will join LDF. If KC (M) joins LDF, then CPI will lose its powers, and it feels threatened by the idea," he said. 

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