Upset by the decision of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of appointing a CPI(M) leader, who lost the Lok Sabha polls, to liaison with the Centre in Delhi, senior Congress MPs have threatened to boycott all meetings which the new appointee will attend.
In a Cabinet meeting last week, Vijayan appointed three-time former Lok Sabha member A. Sampath as the state government's representative in Delhi.
Senior Congress leader and son of K. Karunakaran, K. Muraleedharan, who registered a handsome win at the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat said on Sunday that the Chief Minister was sidelining all the MPs who had won the recent elections.
"This is a clear act of sidelining those who won the polls. We have nothing personal against Sampath and we wish he does not take up the post. We will not cooperate with this and in case he takes part in any meetings, we will even consider to boycott all such meetings. We are also planning to raise this issue in Parliament," said Muraleedharan.
Sampath, who was aiming for a hat-trick of wins from the Attingal Lok Sabha constituency, was defeated by Congress legislator Adoor Prakash.
The CPI(M)-led Left Front suffered one of its worst electoral reverses in the parliamentary polls when all but one of the 20 seats were won by the Congress-led UDF.
Incidentally, Sampath's appointment comes at a time when there are 33 MPs from Kerala, which includes 20 Lok Sabha MPs, nine in the Rajya Sabha, two nominated members Suresh Gopi and Richard Hay (Anglo Indian), besides K.J. Alphons and Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan (both elected to the Upper House from other states).
Expressing his resentment over Sampath's appointment, Chalakudy Lok Sabha member and Congress veteran Benny Behanan said that the Kerala government did not consult with the MPs about his appointment.
"We are being sidelined by Vijayan. Even when the Parliament was in session, he did not even give us a copy of the memorandum that he gave to the Centre. Then came the appointment of Sampath which is nothing but an insult. We don't think there is a need to cooperate with the new appointee," said Behanan.