Crisis continues in KC (M); Consensus seems to elude

Friday, Mar 27, 2015,18:15 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | As the crisis continued in Kerala Congress (M), triggered by the face off between party supremo and Finance Minister K M Mani and party Vice-Chairman P C George, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today confirmed that the Mani had sought action against George.
Yes, I have received a letter from Mani seeking removal of George from the post of government chief whip and barring him from attending the liaison committee meeting of UDF, Chandy told reporters here. A decision on Mani’s demand would be taken after holding discussions with other Front leaders, Chandy added.
Indicating that his differences with Mani has broadened, George said there is no point now in moving along with KC(M). However, George, who met Chandy earlier in the day and conveyed his willingness to resign as Chief Whip, also said he still continued to be a member of UDF.
Chandy held discussions with former KPCC President and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader and state Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty to work out a solution to resolve the issue.
However, Mani struck to his demand of action against George and said party was not for any compromise with him. Mani also said George had crossed ‘all limits of party discipline’ and that he expected action on his letter soon.
Internal friction in KC(M) reached flash point yesterday after party MLAs convened a meeting and sought action against George for his repeated statements against Mani and other Front leaders. What irritated them was George’s public remarks against Mani, facing bribery charges in bar scam after he presented the budget on March 13 amid protests by opposition LDF.
George had stated that Mani should have resigned when the controversy erupted last November. The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had recently registered a case against Mani in connection with the charge of having accepted bribe from bar owners to renew liquor licences.
The effort of ruling UDF to bring about a truce between the two leaders is mainly in the wake of the civic polls this year and the assembly polls next year. Also, the front cannot afford to lose the support of even a single MLA.