Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani on Wednesday said there would be no confusion in the United Democratic Front (UDF) if Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala were to contest the upcoming Assembly elections.
Addressing ‘Janavidhi 2011,' a pre-poll meet-the-press programme organised by the Kesari Memorial Journalist Trust here, Mr. Mani said Oommen Chandy was the UDF chairman and the Leader of the Opposition at present and there was no change in this. But it was for the Congress to take a decision on its leadership and he had no comments to offer on this.
He said the main electoral issue before the people was Left Democratic Front's non-governance, corruption and developmental paralysis. The lack of collective responsibility had been the hallmark of the LDF government, with the leading party, the CPI(M), having hardly any faith in its Chief Minister.
“The lack of coordination between Ministers and their departments could be seen in the budget allocation. The last five years of LDF rule has been rudderless and steeped in corruption,” he said.
Mr. Mani criticised Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan for his reluctance to complete the legal formalities that would facilitate a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the lottery scam. The Chief Minister's contention in his letter to the Centre was that the State had been looted to the extent of Rs.80,000 crore. He could file a case against lottery king Santiago Martin, complete the legal formalities and seek a CBI probe. His refusal to order a probe into allegations against him was unjustified. The allegations were raised by Opposition members inside the Assembly and outside, owning up the full responsibility for their statements, but the Chief Minister was not willing to order a probe with the kind of swiftness he did when charges were raised against UDF leaders.
Mr. Mani blamed the LDF government for its failure to utilise Central government funds. He listed out the projects that had become a casualty of the squabbling coalition.
Mr. Mani said his party had asked for 22 seats in accordance to its strength. “We have demanded what we felt is legitimate,” he said. He was confident that the UDF would be able to sort out all issues related to seat-sharing through adjustments.
Mr. Mani said he was not worried about the fact that Central Travancore would be having six seats less. “As far as we are concerned, there is no change in the total number of Assembly constituencies which continues to be 140,” he said.