Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that even the Congress high command appears to be of the view that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has no right to continue in office.
Addressing participants in the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) day-night stir in front of the Secretariat here to press for Mr. Chandy’s resignation on Saturday, the CPI(M) leader said both Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala’s decision not to join the Oommen Chandy Cabinet and the Congress high command’s concurrence with his decision clearly indicated such a position.
“Mr. Chennithala’s announcement came after prolonged discussions in Delhi in which no less a person than Congress president Sonia Gandhi too was involved. Therefore, Mr. Chennithala’s announcement can only mean that Sonia Gandhi too has endorsed the position that Oommen Chandy has no right to continue in office,” Mr. Vijayan said as he spoke to the agitators on the penultimate day of the strike.
The LDF leadership has decided to call off the indefinite day-night sit-in and lay siege to the Secretariat beginning August 12.
The CPI(M) leader said the Congress leadership’s stand was a vindication of LDF’s demand for Mr. Chandy’s resignation as any investigation when he remained in office would not proceed in the right direction. Mr. Chandy’s attempt over the past several days was to win over the UDF partners with many a promise. General talk was that he had promised Kerala Congress (M) berth in the Union Ministry and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) higher rank for Minister of State E. Ahamed in the Union Cabinet besides a third Lok Sabha seat.
Leaders of the two parties did book tickets to go to Delhi. Better sense prevailed at the last minute when they realised that neither Ms. Gandhi nor any of her representatives had extended an invitation to them. This only meant that the high command had no clue about what Mr. Chandy had promised them.
The allegations that Mr. Chandy faced were of unprecedented nature. Reports suggested that attempts were on to influence Konni-based businessman Sreedharan Nair, who had filed a complaint against the scam-duo Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha S. Nair. The Opposition campaign would continue till Mr. Chandy vacated office, Mr. Vijayan said.