Veteran politician K.R. Gouri’s Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) is on the warpath once again with the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) of which it is a constituent.
The JSS, which raised voices of dissent prior to the recent Assembly and civic body elections, has this time chosen the nominated board and corporation posts to start yet another debate on whether the JSS would remain in the UDF for long.
Addressing a press conference after the party’s State Centre met here on Sunday, Ms. Gouri, the general secretary of the party, said the party had been allowed only three out of the five posts for which it had staked a claim. Out of these, two, despite the UDF approving them for the JSS, were not being given to the party by the department concerned, in this case the Agriculture Department.
The UDF had decided to allow the JSS chairperson posts in two corporations, viz., the Warehousing Corporation and the Kerala Agro Machinery Corporation (KAMCO), and one chairman post for a board, which was that of the Karshaka Thozhilali Welfare Board. However, the Agriculture Department, under which the Welfare Board and KAMCO were, had not yet approved of the nominations, Ms. Gouri said.
Stating that the party had contacted Agriculture Minister K.P. Mohan, his party chief M.P. Veerendrakumar and even UDF convener P.P. Thankachen several times on the issue, Ms. Gouri said none of these quarters had responded or explained why the posts were not being handed over to the JSS as per the agreement reached in the UDF. The party has decided to meet Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on the issue this week itself. Whether the JSS would continue with the UDF would be decided after that only, she added.
Replying to queries, Ms. Gouri said she had no idea on why the JSS was being treated like this within the UDF. The JSS had stood by the UDF through all sorts of difficult situations. But the attitude of the UDF towards the JSS had changed after the resignation of A.K. Antony from the Chief Minister post and Mr. Chandy took over, she said.
The JSS, which lost in all the four seats it had contested in the recent Assembly elections, including a heavy defeat for Ms. Gouri at Cherthala, has no representation in the Assembly.