The Communist Marxist Party is the latest to join the list of disgruntled constituents in the United Democratic Front, with its general secretary and former Minister M.V. Raghavan openly expressing dissent at the manner in which the affairs of the UDF is handled, with its distinct tilt towards the Indian Union Muslim League.
Even though Mr. Raghavan has turned his ire on the IUML, accusing it of arrogance, it is clear that the CMP leader is unhappy at the way in which the Congress leadership has been ignoring some of the demands of his party, including the disbanding of the managing committee of the Pariyaram Medical College, which is controlled by the CPI(M).
The UDF had discussed this issue several times. The Kannur district committee of the UDF had expressed its opposition when Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala convened a meeting to discuss this issue.
The general consensus that came up at the meeting was that the government should take over the medical college, instead of triggering off another political tussle for the control of the institution.
According to Congress sources, the CPI(M) leadership too is in favour of a government takeover. Mr. Raghavan's is perhaps the lone voice in the UDF for the disbanding of the current committee and installing a UDF rule, preferably under the leadership of his party.
Minister for Cooperation C.N. Balakrishnan also is reportedly not in favour of disbanding the current committee. The State government, which has now decided to set up four medical colleges in the government sector, is yet to consider the takeover of the Pariyaram medical college, which had been dogged by administrative disruptions since its inception.
The CMP leaders met here the other day and decided to submit a letter to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy expressing their dissatisfaction at the raw deal the party got in the sharing of corporations and boards.
The party leaders had decided to raise the banner of protest within the UDF set-up but Mr. Raghavan went one step further by declaring that his party would consider quitting the UDF.
The CMP, in fact, got a fair deal, with three posts of president/ chairman of boards and corporations even though it does not have representation in the Assembly.
In addition, CMP leader C.P. John was inducted as member of the Planning Board. The CMP also wanted the post of chairman of the Cooperative Employees Welfare Society, as part of its attempt to retain a hold in the cooperative sector.
It had to give up the chairman's post in Consumerfed, which it held on all previous occasions that the UDF came to power. The Congress leadership refused to concede its demands, prompting Mr. Raghavan to raise the banner of protest, the sources said.
Congress sources said the party did not attribute any seriousness to Mr. Raghavan's voice of dissent. The Congress leadership is also not happy with the CMP leader's statement at a time when the UDF was in the midst of the Neyyattinkara by-election.