UDF allies to vent their feelings before Sonia Gandhi

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 28 : Allies of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) are reportedly all set to express their unhappiness to Congress President Sonia Gandhi when she arrives here Sunday for a two-day visit.

Speaking to IANS, a senior UDF leader said that each of the allies will be meeting Sonia Gandhi Sunday evening.

"Yes, of course we do have a few things to convey to her and our party will have a special meeting tomorrow (Sunday) to decide on how to make the best use of the meeting with her," said a UDF leader who did not wish to be identified.

Congress allies in Kerala often flex their muscles to stake claim to power in the state ever since the Oommen Chandy government assumed office in May 2011, getting 72 seats in the 140-member assembly.

The UDF comprises the Congress, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Kerala Congress (Mani), Revolutionary Socialist Party (Bolshevik), Kerala Congress (B), Kerala Congress (Jacob), Socialist Janata Dal (SJD) , Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS)and Communist Marxist Party (CMP). The latter two parties do not have legislators.

Each of the allies have issues with the Congress. The IUML has severed ties with state Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed whose feud with the IUML is more than three decades old.

Kerala Congress (Mani) is unhappy that Jose K.Mani, the son of their party supremo and state Finance Minister K.M.Mani, was not made a union minister.

Kerala Congress (B) chairman R.Balakrishna Pillai's son K.B. Ganesh Kumar had to demit office as a minister early this year after his wife approached a court following a tiff. Pillai wants his son back in the cabinet as the issue between his son and his wife has been resolved outside the court.

JSS and CMP, too, have issues with the Congress as they think their parties are being sidelined by the 'big brother attitude of the Congress'.

The SJD, led by media honcho M.P.Veerendra Kumar, is expected to raise the demand for a Lok Sabha seat.

It is not clear if the allies will also discuss issues like the 'solar scam' and the recent gold haul at Kochi airport, which they claim have dented the image of the CM's office.

The differences between the Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala factions in the Congress party are also likely to come up at the meeting with Sonia Gandhi.

--IANS (Posted on 28-09-2013)

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