Thiruvananthapuram | Burying the strained relations between CPIM and CPI, opposition LDF in Kerala today decided to launch a joint agitation, seeking resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani who has come under a cloud following a bribe allegation over the bar licence issue. As part of the stir, LDF would hold a massive ‘People’s March’ to the secretariat here on November 25, demanding the resignation of Mani and also explore legal options to move against him if he does not quit, Front Convener Vaikom Viswam told reporters after the LDF state committee meeting here.
To a question over the war of words between CPI(M) and CPI for not initiating a joint agitation against Mani, he said, the issue was resolved after discussion and the Front decided to launch strong agitation on the matter. The LDF expressed dissatisfaction over the ongoing vigilance probe, he added. The strained relations between the two parties came to the fore yesterday after CPIM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s strong rebuttal of CPI state secretary Panniyam Raveendran’s statement that the LDF lead partner is engaging in ‘adjustment agitations, instead of lining up the entire LDF to take on the UDF government. Vijayan had also raked up the past Congress connection of CPI, saying that that party was still in the hangover of its past ties with Congress. Irked over Vijayan’s remark, Raveedran hit back at CPIM and said it would be better to refrain from digging up the past as both parties had backed the Congress at one time or the other.
In a sharp point by point rebuttal of Vijayan’s charges, Raveendran said the CPIM leader had chosen to gloss over the fact that in more recent times the two parties had together propped up the UPAI ministry led by the Congress. No one needs to think that we could be intimidated by raking up the past.. The good Communist practice is to correct mistakes rather than clinging to them, Raveendran said. Significantly, Raveendran met the media just before the LDF state committee meet to discuss local issues, including the bar bribe charge against Mani. Raveendran’s comment against CPIM was seen as a veiled attack on the party for adopting a soft approach to Mani, who heads Kerala Congress (M), a partner in the ruling Congress led UDF, apparently to keep possibility of a future alliance open.
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