Thiruvanthapuram, April 21: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is also the chairman of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, refuted media speculations that allies will quit the Congress-led alliance in the coming days. “If you are referring to Jata Dal-U, they have raised certain issues, but none is going to leave the UDF. The issues they have raised would be discussed,” Chandy told media here on Tuesday. The ruling UDF consists of the Congress, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Kerala Congress (Mani), Revolutiory Socialist Party (RSP), Jata Dal-United, Kerala Congress (Jacob), all of which have representation in the state assembly and the Chandy cabinet. Then there are Jathipathya Samraksha Samithy and Communist Marxist Party, which have no legislators. Recently these parties split, with one faction each expressing allegiance to the opposition Left Democratic Front.
The lone Kerala Congress (Pillai) legislator K.B. Ganesh Kumar, who was a minister in the Chandy cabinet, has been cut up with the alliance ever since he had to quit as minister in 2013 over domestic issues and was not reinstated in the government despite appeals by party chairman R. Balakrish Pillai. Pillai, one of the founders of the UDF in the early 1980s, spped ties with the UDF and his son Ganesh Kumar voted for the Left in the speaker’s election last month and the Rajya Sabha polls from the state on Monday.
Coming together of six parties of the Jata Pariwar at the Centre has thrown up a new situation in Kerala. The JD-U led by media baron M.P. Veerendra Kumar is with the UDF, while the Jata Dal-S is allied with the Left. Veerendra Kumar, who spped ties with the Left in 2009 after being denied his sitting Lok Sabha seat from Kozhikode, moved to the Congress-led UDF. But now he is miffed with the UDF too after he lost the Palakkad Lok Sabha seat in 2014 election and the Congress did not send him to the Rajya Sabha.
The two JD-S legislators in the UDF voted for the UDF candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections on Monday. “There are no major issues in the UDF. The JD-S has raised some issues and all of it will be resolved. So the UDF government has no problems at all,” said the state’s Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala. State Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John representing the RSP dismissed reports that the RSP, which merged with the UDF last year, is planning to quit the ruling alliance. “Please do not give ears to such news; we are strongly with the UDF itself,” said John. (IANS)