The high-power committee meeting of the Kerala Congress(M) here on Monday evening brought intra-party rivalry to the fore.

The meeting, presided over by party chairman K.M. Mani, discussed various issues, but could not arrive at any decision.

A section of the party had demanded the removal of P.C. George from the post of Government Chief Whip. The group, led by P.J. Joseph, raised the demand at the meeting, but Mr. Mani reportedly refused to entertain it. Unconfirmed reports said a committee comprising Mr. Mani, Mr. Joseph and C.F. Thomas has been entrusted with the task of examining the issue.

Mr. Mani was evasive on the issue when presspersons met him after the meeting. Mr. Joseph, T.U. Kuruvila and several others who had raised the demand for removal of Mr. George from the Chief whip’s post left the venue of the meeting by then.

Mr. George had been making public statements considered harmful to the interests of the party and the United Democratic Front, his detractors said.

One of the statements that the party should give up its demand for an additional Lok Sabha seat had created much controversy. Mr. Mani had all along been advocating self-restraint on the part of Mr. George, though it did not bring out results. The situation had angered his detractors who had been seeking strong action against the Chief Whip. The infighting within the party is expected to continue in the days to come as no action has been promised against Mr. George.

The meeting discussed issues such as the Kasturirangan report and the falling prices of rubber, but the compelling agenda was that of Mr. George.


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