LDF ally Kerala Congress-J headed for a splitApril 28th, 2010 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, April 28 (IANS) A minister’s absence from Kerala’s weekly cabinet meeting Wednesday triggered speculation here that the Kerala Congress-Joseph, an ally of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), may be headed for a split with a breakaway faction likely to join the Congress-led alliance.
Public Works Department (PWD) Minister P.J. Joseph, who heads the Kerala Congress-Joseph (KC-J) did not attend the meeting and did not give reasons for his absence either, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters here after the meet.
“We will wait and see and this has occurred because of their internal problems in the party, but the LDF is strong and has the support of the people,” Achuthanandan said.
Asked if he would initiate steps to see that the party doesn’t split and that Joseph stays on, the chief minister said: “How can anyone forcibly ask someone to stay?”
Speculation has been rife of a possible merger between the KC-J and the Kerala Congress-Mani (KC-M), the second largest party in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). Both parties have considerable influence in Christian-dominated areas.
Jospeh told reporters in his hometown Thodupuzha that he did not attend the cabinet meet as he was unwell and that his party’s state committee would meet Friday to decide on a possible merger.
A section of the KC-J led by former MP P.C. Thomas, however, denied reports of his party merging with the KC-M, and stressed the party continued to be with the LDF. The Left-led front has seven constituents.
“No such decision has ever been discussed in our party and if anyone prefers to leave, they are free to leave and we will be with the LDF. We will be having a nominee in the cabinet also,” said Thomas, who is known to have a long-running feud with Joseph.
Senior KC-M legislator P.C. George confirmed that the decks have been cleared for Joseph’s entry into his party. The KC-J currently has four legislators.
Leader of opposition Oommen Chandy, meanwhile, maintained that he was not aware of these developments apart from what he had read in the newspapers.
“I can’t comment on media reports, but one thing I can say is that we are not going to go with a bag to catch people from the LDF,” Chandy said.
- 'Catholic priests, Muslim groups pushing extremism in Kerala' - Jun 04, 2010
- Kerala Congress-J splits, to leave Left Front - Apr 30, 2010
- UDF fails to take stand on Kerala Congress merger - May 30, 2010
- Kerala Congress factions of Joseph and Mani merge - May 27, 2010
- Kerala minister, Congress MP spat in public - Jan 24, 2012
- No problems in alliance, all united: UDF - May 01, 2012
- Chandy, six others to be sworn in Kerala Wednesday - May 17, 2011
- Poll campaign gains momentum in Kerala - Mar 31, 2011
- Kerala Congress (Secular) to merge with Kerala Congress (Mani) - Oct 09, 2009
- Govt.'s move to allow more FDI in agri sector will hurt farmer's interests: Karat - Apr 01, 2011
- Another party breaks away from Left Front in Kerala - Jun 04, 2010
- Chandy expands cabinet, inducts 13 more ministers - May 23, 2011
- Kerala legislators to visit China - Aug 08, 2012
- Union minister's Mullaperiyar remark irks Kerala - Jan 16, 2012
- Surendran Pillai inducted into Kerala cabinet - Aug 03, 2010
Tags: absence, ally, breakaway faction, c george, c thomas, cabinet meeting, chief minister, congress, constituents, decks, hometown, legislator, legislators, merger, mp, pwd minister, speculation, state committee, v s achuthanandan