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CPI hardens stand on KM Mani, says there’s no space for opportunists in LDF

By: Express Web Desk | Kochi |

Published: March 1, 2018 7:18 pm

CPI hardens stand on KM Mani, says there's no space for opportunists in LDF CPI state conference in Malappuram. 

The Communist Party of India (CPI), the second-biggest ally in the LDF government in Kerala, reaffirmed its opposition to Kerala Congress (Mani) entering the coalition, saying that there is no space for corrupt or opportunistic parties. The official view of the CPI was reflected at the ongoing state conference in Malappuram.

Kerala Congress (Mani), headed by former finance minister KM Mani, had left the Congress-UDF in the wake of the 2016 elections in which it was routed by the CPM-led LDF. Though the party, which has a significant clout among the Christian voters in the state, has not indicated which way it will go in future, there has been a softening of stand on the part of the CPM towards it. The recently-concluded CPM state conference in Thrissur had made it clear that there was a need for the expansion of the LDF by bringing in new allies. Mani’s presence at a seminar on the sidelines of the CPM conference had raised speculation whether he was all set to join the LDF. However, the CPI has stood in strong opposition to such a move.

CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran told reporters Thursday that the formation of the LDF government was a product of its fight against corrupt forces, which also includes Mani. “There is no need to change that position,” he said.

The CPI also made it clear that all the parties within the LDF are equal and that no one is bigger than the other. Parties numerically stronger in the Assembly have a bigger responsibility in leading the way, it said.

Off late, there has been significant friction between the CPM and the CPI on many issues. CPI’s opposition to the continuation of former NCP minister Thomas Chandy, who was accused of encroaching paddy-land, had resulted in CPI ministers staying away from a key cabinet meeting. That decision had resulted in significant heartburn among the LDF allies. Differences between cadres of the two Communist parties are also evident in districts like Idukki, home to tea and coffee plantations. The drive against illegal encroachment in Munnar had also distanced the two parties.

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