After 34 years Congress-led UDF meets without Mani

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 10 (IANS) The mood was sombre as the top brass of the Congress-led United Democratic Front met here on Wednesday minus the presence of one of its founders K.M. Mani — for the first time in 34 years, after the party bid goodbye to the alliance on Sunday.

“We never ever thought Mani would leave us without even airing his grouse. Since they had said that they will have no qualms to share power at the local bodies with us, we also have decided to maintain status quo. We have nothing against him (Mani). We wish he had discussed whatever issues he had with us,” said UDF chairman and leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala.

Mani, whose party Kerala Congress (Mani) — the third biggest ally of the UDF, on Sunday shocked many by deciding to quit the alliance, saying they were feeling suffocated.

“Since Congress is leading the UDF, we will sit down with each of our allies later this month to discuss all issues,” said Chennithala and dropped enough hints that they really miss Mani. And despite a volley of question, he never disowned Mani.

The Indian Union Muslim League – the second biggest ally of the UDF – blamed the internal bickering of the Congress party for the issues in the UDF and asked them to sort out it.

While Mani has categorically said that his party will maintain an equidistant policy with the three fronts, the general impression in the UDF is that efforts should be taken to mollify Mani and get him back into the UDF, which faced a massive drubbing in the assembly polls.



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