‘I’ faction supporters adopt a tougher line in State Assembly

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala has clearly indicated that he has got over the embarrassment related to his aborted entry into the State Cabinet by announcing a series of party activities for the next three months.

At the same time, his supporters have kept off from participating in the debates for demands for grants for the portfolios held by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan in the Assembly.

Asked whether he intended to concentrate on party work, at a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Chennithala said he continued to be the KPCC president and as long as he held the position, he would perform his functions. Currently, he was concentrating on preparing the party for the Lok Sabha elections. As for his induction to the Cabinet, it was now before the party high command, he said.

The KPCC president did not allow any discussion at the leadership meeting held earlier in the morning with regard to his induction into the Cabinet and the controversies over it.

Later at a press conference, he said these issues were not discussed and the party focussed on the programmes to be implemented in the next three months. He announced that he would visit Attappady on Saturday.

Mr. Chennithala also indicated that the KPCC would not take the responsibility for any allegations against the members of the Chief Minister’s staff. In reply to questions on the issue, he said the Chief Minister had already given his views and he had nothing more to comment.

The ‘I’ faction’s attitude in the Assembly clearly suggested that it had not forgiven the affront that Mr. Chennithala had to suffer in connection with his induction as Minister. On Wednesday, during the debate for demands for grants for the portfolios held by Mr. Chandy (Heads of State, Ministers, Administration of Justice, and Forest), the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) fielded Benny Behanan, P.C. Vishnunath and K. Sivadasan Nair, all prominent members of the ‘A’ faction.

On Thursday, the CLP leadership, dominated by the ‘A’ faction, fielded K. Muraleedharan, Varkala Kahar, and C.P. Mohammed (all maintaining a distance from the emerging factional equations) for the debate on the demands for grants for Home and Vigilance. While Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Kahar keep a distinct pro-Chandy tilt in their positions, Mr. Muraleedharan of late has moved close to Mr. Chennithala.

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