KOTTAYAM: Ending a months-long impasse in the United Democratic Front (UDF) over the dispute between the P J Joseph and Jose K Mani factions of the Kerala Congress (M), the UDF leadership has decided to bar the Jose faction from coalition meetings.
Announcing the decision in Thiruvananthapuram, UDF convener Benny Behanan said Jose faction leaders won’t be invited for the UDF meeting slated to be held on Wednesday. “The Jose faction failed to implement the UDF leadership decision with regard to the change of guard in the Kottayam district panchayat, even after repeated reminders and discussions. Hence, they don’t deserve to continue in the coalition,” Benny told reporters.
The decision came after the Jose faction refused to carry out the UDF decision to hand over the district panchayat president post to the P J Joseph faction as per an understanding made under the aegis of senior UDF leaders including Oommen Chandy, P K Kunhalikkutty and Ramesh Chennithala.
The UDF leadership on Monday arrived at the conclusion that there is no point in continuing any talks. “The UDF doesn’t need anyone who refuses to accept the leadership’s decision. We don’t mind the profit or loss here,” Benny said.
Jose K Mani responded by saying selective justice is injustice. MLA Roshy Augustine, a prominent leader of the Jose faction, said the decision was unfortunate as well as unexpected.
“We have implemented all the decisions of the UDF leadership and voted for UDF candidates (in all local bodies). What was the fault we committed? We don’t understand the reason for such a decision,” Roshy told reporters in Kottayam.