United Democratic Front (UDF) has been facing jerks to sustain its position in Kerala. And, it is too late to reach a pact with BJP. Observers are of the view that KM Mani may bite the bait this time.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, leader of the Congress-led UDF, has been making a tight rope walk these days since, he took over the charge in May 2011. When the UDF came into power in May 2011, the tally of MLAs was 72 and LDF 68. Chandy’s manipulating skills increased UDF’s strength to 75. The threat from LDF is almost over as their anti-government campaigns and agitations against solar scam nosedived. Now, the latest fly in the ointment is in the form of a mutiny which is rising from within.
Kerala Congress (M), led by KM Mani, the powerful finance minister and a seasoned politician. Late Congress leader and former Home Minister, PT Chacko who had to resign in 1964 in the wake of a sex scandal. But, it is noteworthy that not a single act of sexual misdemeanor was established during his life or after his death. However, he resigned in February, 1964. He died of a cardiac arrest after few months. His supporters, led by a Congress leader KM George, thought that their leader did not get justice from their party; hence, they formed a new political outfit called Kerala Congress in October, 1964. Even though, several splits took place in the party the group led by Mani remains the largest. Mani enjoys the rare record of presenting maximum number of budgets in the state Assembly. He is also the longest serving minister in Kerala and has been representing his Pala constituency since 1965. Naturally his followers believe that he has got a legitimate right to be the CM of Kerala for at least for few months. Since the last three decades Congress has been following the principle of keeping the chiefministership with their legislative party leader.
Chief Minister’s post was really a temptation. But, an affectionate father in him thought of making his son Jose K Mani, who was an MoS in the central ministry when UPA 3 assumes power. Now, that dream is dashed. And, it is too late to reach a pact with BJP. So, observers are of the view that believe that Mani may bite the bait this time.
Another pain in the neck for UDF is the Sexual Blackmail case took place in Kochi. One of the culprits was arrested in Thiruvnanthapuram and now it is almost established that he was living in MLA quarters. It is alleged that couple of former Congress MLAs facilitated his sojourn in the quarters. And, media reports keep on suggesting that several VIPs including ruling leaders are involved in the case.
All these developments do challenge the very existence of Chandy’s UDF regime. Now, it looks like, it is as steadfast as quicksand.
—T Satisan from Kochi