The Kerala Congress (M) has hit out at its detractors within the United Democratic Front (UDF) and held that the failure on the part of the Congress to discipline its workers was mainly responsible for the simmering unrest within the coalition.
An editorial published in the latest edition, dated November 14, of the party mouthpiece Prathichaya, took a serious view of the growing trend of Congress leaders engaging in public criticism of others in the party as well as leaders of constituent parties. Besides tarnishing the image of the coalition, such acts had resulted in a scenario in which the UDF lacked a definite stance on various issues concerning governance. Contrary to its name, the coalition lacked unity, the editorial said.
Certain instances in the recent past had compelled the Kerala Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) to consider the possibility of quitting the coalition. The collective stance of the parties was also conveyed during the recent meeting of the UDF that was held at Kovalam. While the IUML had raised complaints regarding alleged attempts to isolate the party within the front, the problems faced by the KC (M) were much more serious in nature, it pointed out.
Criticising the actions of a few MLAs who had raised the issue of ‘green politics’, the KC (M) claimed that the party had strived for the welfare of the farming community since its inception. The party has stuck to its avowed policies on issues concerning agriculture and had championed several campaigns for farmers’ cause.
It also took a serious view of the recent criticisms levelled by the Minister for Revenue against Finance and Law Minister K.M. Mani, chairman of the party. “Unfounded” allegations regarding attempts to undermine the powers of other departments were raised in the instance. The editorial stated that Mr. Mani had carried out the special directive of the Chief Minister in preparing the draft for the Kerala Land Utilisation Bill. While he could have chosen the system of submitting the draft before the Cabinet for considerations, Mr. Mani had instead sought the suggestions of the Revenue Minister in an attempt to ensure transparency and democracy. The woes of the KC (M) were further compounded after the Chief Minister chose not to back Mr. Mani.
The editorial concluded by cautioning that the party would be left with no other option than to take the extreme step of severing ties with the coalition if the Congress leadership failed to rein in its workers and continued to remain aloof to the actual problems faced by the coalition.