Congress accuses CPI(M) and CPI of snubbing KC(M); Mani calls for corrections

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Thiruvananthapuram/Kottayam, Jul 8 (PTI) Seeking to drive a wedge into the LDF, Congress alleged on Monday that since joining the state's ruling alliance, the Kerala Congress (M), a key constituent, has been treated with "disdain" by the other two major partners, the CPI(M) and CPI.

In a statement, KPCC chief K Sudhakaran said, "Despite some leaders extending an invitation, the Kerala Congress (M), which joined the LDF, has not been accepted by CPI(M) and CPI workers in the way they should have been." As the local body polls draw near, Sudhakaran's statement can be seen as a strategic overture to the Congress's traditional partner, the Kerala Congress (M), in an attempt to mend fences and revitalise their alliance ahead of the upcoming elections.

In an apparent reference to the defeat of Kerala Congress (M) candidate Thomas Chazhikadan from its stronghold Kottayam Lok Sabha seat in the recent polls, Sudhakaran said, "This is evident from their recent electoral defeats. When we evaluate their recent losses, it becomes clear that the CPI(M) and CPI have not accepted the Kerala Congress." Sudhakaran's statement referred to the alleged neglect of the Left government towards the Karunya scheme, launched by Kerala Congress (M) founder late K M Mani when he was finance minister in the Oommen Chandy-headed Congress-led UDF government a decade ago. K M Mani passed away in 2019.

After his demise, the Kerala Congress (M), headed by his son Jose K Mani, joined the LDF in 2021, just ahead of the Assembly polls, marking a significant shift in Kerala's political landscape.

Without referring to Sudhakaran's remarks, Mani, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, hinted that his party would continue with the LDF, even though it suffered a huge blow in the Lok Sabha polls.

The LDF suffered a devastating blow in Kerala, managing to secure only a single seat out of the state's 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the recent general elections.

Among the notable casualties was Kerala Congress (M) leader Thomas Chazhikadan, who had won the Kottayam seat as a UDF candidate in the 2019 polls but failed to replicate his success this time around, highlighting the extent of the Left's failure in the state.

"When there's a victory, everyone celebrates together. When there's a defeat, there's collective responsibility. This applies to the CPI(M), CPI, us, and all allies. That's why it's called a front (coalition)," Mani told reporters in Kottayam.

He, however, acknowledged that the Left Front needs corrections.

"The Left Front has suffered a huge defeat in the election. We respect and acknowledge that verdict. There are many people who love the Left Front, but they have been disappointed. We couldn't meet their expectations. That's why corrections are necessary," Mani said.

"We need to examine what went wrong and make corrections. The front has collective responsibility, and that's the party's stance," he added. PTI TGB COR TGB KH