“I do express my strongest protest to give away our RS seat to the KC(M) party, who are not even a constituent of the UDF in Kerala as of now," VT Balram wrote.

Cong leaders in Kerala unhappy as party decides to back KCM for Rajya Sabha seat
news Politics Friday, June 08, 2018 - 07:33

The decision of the Congress party in Kerala to back its former ally Kerala Congress (M) for the lone Rajya Sabha seat up for grabs, has not gone down well with a section of its leaders. 

In a letter addressed to party President Rahul Gandhi, Congress MLA VT Balram wrote: 

“I do express my utmost disappointment and strongest protest on the Kerala leaders' decision to give away our Rajya sabha seat to the Kerala Congress(M) party, who are not even a constituent of the UDF in Kerala as of now. This has betrayed the sentiments of the ordinary Congress workers in Kerala and is a huge humiliation of their spirits. I, therefore urge you to reconsider this catastrophic decision at the earliest and field a Congress candidate itself for the ensuing election.”

The letter is endorsed by other Congress MLAs including Shafi Parambil, Hibi Eden, Roji M John, KS Sabarinadhan and Anil Akkara. 

Former Congress state President VM Sudheeran also lashed out at this "suicidal strategy".

"The need of the hour is to strengthen the Congress and the UDF will strengthen only if the Congress is strong. This gifting of seat to Mani will in no way be of any help as Congressmen will not be happy at all. Even Mani knows that he has no right to this seat..." said an angry Sudheeran.

The Congress was facing a problem after strong opposition surfaced against renominating former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien.

The most vocal opposition to Kurien has come from about half a dozen young Congress legislators who demanded that since Kurien has had a long innings in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he should pave the way for other Congress leaders.

A peeved Kurien meanwhile told the media in Delhi that he will abide by the decision as the party high command has agreed to it.

"This was a meek surrender of the Congress and the key architect in it is Chandy. The decision to hand over the seat to Mani was never discussed in the party at all.

"I was told today morning by Chennithala that Mani is demanding the seat. I said I have no problem in giving it up, but wished it would have gone to the Congress and not to some other party," he said.

With this development, it is only a matter of time before KM Mani formally returns to the Congress-led UDF. The KC(M) had left UDF after the 2016 Assembly election. 

Elections are due this month to elect three new members to the Rajya Sabha. The ruling Left Democratic Front will be able to win two seats and the Congress one, given the number of seats these two rival political fronts have in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.

(With IANS inputs)


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