KC(M) cold to Cong. attempts to woo Mani back to UDF

KC(M) likens Congress’ opening move to reading a stillborn infant’s horoscope and reaffirms the party’s long term commitment to LDF

Published - May 16, 2024 12:44 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The Congress has seemingly made an arguably half-baked attempt to exploit the Left Democratic Front’s perceived uncertainty over allocating crucial Rajya Sabha seats to allies when they become vacant in July with no tangible result. 

The party’s official newspaper Veekshanam penned a rather colourful editorial on Wednesday claiming that Kerala Congress (M) chairman Jose K. Mani will lose the seat-sharing bargain, with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India splitting the two slots in the upper house of Parliament.

Notably, it offered Mr. Mani an olive branch by counselling him to return to the United Democratic Front fold. It stated that the CPI(M) was a fickle ally.  The editorial likened Mr. Mani to a pining partner plagued by unrequited love and argued that the LDF was a firetrap for the KC(M). 

In contrast, the editorial reminded Mr. Mani that the Congress always offered a safe harbour for those the CPI(M) disdained. 

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress ceded its Kollam seat to the Revolutionary Socialist Party. It accommodated the Janata Dal after the CPI(M) spurned the party. In 2011, given its big tent mentality, the Congress acquiesced to the Indian Union Muslim League’s long-standing demand for a fifth cabinet post. 

The editorial said the CPI(M) had foxed Mr. Mani by offering the second place in the LDF after the 2021 Assembly elections. 

However, Mr. Mani lost the KC(M)’s “Vatican”, the Pala Assembly constituency, to the UDF. Since then, the CPI(M) ‘s enthusiasm for the “turncoat” petered out, relegating the party to a subaltern position in the ruling alliance.  

Congress leader Cherian Philip attempted to stir the pot by stating that the CPI(M) should display the political propriety of ceding the Rajya Sabha seats to Mr. Mani and Shreyams Kumar of the Rashtriya Janata Dal. 

However, the Congress’ attempt to woo Mr. Mani seemed tepid compared to the entrenched operations undertaken by the CPI(M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party to make discontents in rival political parties switch sides. 

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan said the party had not authorised anyone to welcome Mr. Mani to the UDF. “Such a proposition was not on the table,” he said. 

The KC(M) was dismissive. Irrigation Minister Roshy Augustine likened the Congress’ opening move to a futile attempt to divine the horoscope of a stillborn infant. “The KC(M) is safe in the LDF, and the party is committed for the long term to strengthening the alliance,” he said. 

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