Top Congress leaders from Kerala summoned to Delhi

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 1 (IANS) In wake of the humiliating defeat in the recent Kerala assembly polls, the Congress high command has summoned three top state leaders to come to Delhi on Thursday to discuss the future course.

State party president V.M.Sudheeran told reporters here on Monday that he along with former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala have been called to the national capital and are leaving for the meeting scheduled for Thursday.

While the majority in the party in Kerala wants Sudheeran to step down, the high command, especially former Defence Minister A.K.Antony, do not want him to go in a disgraceful manner.

Chandy, who was confident that he will be able to lead the Congress to retain power, had after the crushing defeat with just 22 of the 87 Congress candidates managing to win, took moral responsibility and decided not to take up the post of Leader of Opposition or the United Democratic Front chairman.

While the other two leaders have not owned up the responsibility, they had said that all three would be equally responsible of whatever the outcome is.

Meanwhile, a new problem has risen in the UDF, with ally Kerala Congress-Mani, led by former Finance Minister K.M. Mani, being displeased over Chennithala being made the UDF chairman, saying the allies were not consulted, and also is angry in the manner in which Mani was “trapped” by the Congress in a tangle following the bar scam case, in which he had to quit office last year .

For the past one week, speculations have been rife that the six legislators of KC-Mani, the third largest constituent of the UDF will sit as a separate block in the assembly. The final decision would be taken at their two-day party camp to be held later this week.

But Sudheeran denied there was any problem.

“Chandy is out of town and once back will speak to Mani as he is a vital cog in the UDF and all things will be ironed out,” he said.



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