Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has issued a stern warning to the coalition partners which, according to him, are bent on damaging the image of the United Democratic Front through their activities, making it clear that such activities will not be tolerated any more.
‘‘Enough is enough,’’ he said addressing a party workers’ meet organised by the District Congress Committee (DCC) here on Friday. ‘‘They do not attend UDF meets. Instead, engage in activities outside, that weaken the UDF. We cannot allow anyone to engage in activities that pain the mind of the common UDF activist,’’ he said.
The Congress has never acted in a big-brotherly manner and it is ready to listen to all partners, irrespective of their size. So far, on account of the complexities involved in coalition politics, the Congress has tried to play down the actions that affect the image of the coalition, he said.
The people want the coalition to function properly and leaders should know that they are watching them, Mr. Chennithala said. For the coalition to move in unison, all partners will have to take a conciliatory attitude and give up on unrealistic claims, he said.
There was a time when the UDF image was damaged by the schism in the Congress. However, during the past eight years, the Congress leadership has moved as one. Even if there are differences of opinion, these could be resolved through talks. However, the present challenge to the UDF image comes from its partners, he said.
Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, in his inaugural address, said the image of the UDF had taken a beating on account of recent controversies. This should not have happened. Steps should be taken to avoid such happening in future, he said adding that in coalition politics, all parties would have to follow political propriety in their functioning.
‘‘Action should be initiated against those who breach such propriety,’’ he said and warned the State leadership that nothing should take place from its side that will affect the self-esteem of the Congress worker.
New pension scheme
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in his address, said the thin majority of his government had never deterred it from taking up problems concerning the people. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) had tried to wage a series of agitations, but none of them could mobilise popular support. ‘‘They are in search of causes to be taken up. Finding none, they are now trying to turn family problems into political issues. They are moving away from the people,’’ Mr. Chandy said.
The contributory pension scheme has been opposed by the CPI(M), but it could not continue the agitation on account of total lack of popular support, the Chief Minister said adding that his government would be remembered in future on account of the contributory pension scheme.
DCC president Tomy Kallani presided. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, KPCC vice president M.M. Hassan, Congress leader M.M. Jacob, and others spoke. Congress activists from 1,320 booths participated in the meet.