Thiruvananthapuram, June 30 A day after the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) booted out its ally Kerala Congress (Mani) for defying its directive to vacate the president's post of the Kottayam district panchayat, the ousted group decided to wait and watch the developments.
Kerala Congress (Mani) was founded by UDF veteran late K.M. Mani and is now led by his son and Rajya Sabha member Jose K. Mani.
The Kerala Congress (Mani) comprises of two factions one presently led by Mani and the other led by veteran legislator P.J. Joseph. For all practical purposes for the past one year they have been functioning as two different entities.
On Monday, Jose Mani and his faction were dropped from the UDF for defying its directive.
"For 38 long years , Mani Sir (K.M. Mani) was the heart and soul of the UDF and in one day, we have been ousted, without remembering Mani Sir. This was nothing but political treachery . Everything that Joseph is saying are lies. Ever since Mani Sir passed away, Joseph was wanting to hijack the party. In the past also we have remained on our own and from now on we will be on our own and at the appropriate time we will take a decision," said Jose.
Jose K. Mani appeared to have got a lifeline after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan did not belittle the former and said that nothing can be ruled out in politics. However, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran - the second biggest ally in the ruling Left - made no bones and said the LDF will not act as a ventilator to any party in the opposition.
"I don't think I have to reply to every comment that Vijayan makes. The Left Front is not one, where anyone can just enter. Let Jose K. Mani decide his fate, what we have to say on this we will say it in the Left Democratic Front meeting," said Rajendran.
With the local body polls scheduled for October, Jose and his faction will have to decide quickly on their way forward.
Meanwhile top leaders of the Congress including former two time Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that there has to be discipline in a political front. All of us tried our best to speak to Jose K. Mani to see that he adheres to the directives of the UDF.
"The doors of the UDF are not closed at all," said Chandy.
At the moment, all eyes are on the UDF leadership meeting to be held on Wednesday, the first after Jose K. Mani was booted out, as very soon discussions will begin on seat sharing for the October civic polls.
( With inputs from IANS )