Rebels in UDF raise banner of protest
Resentment is brewing in the United Democratic Front (UDF), especially in the Congress, after the release of the list of party candidates on Sunday evening.
While a section of the Congress activists came out against the candidature of K. Babu in Thripunithura, trade unionists led by Congress ‘I’ faction leader K.P. Haridas have raised the banner of protest against party candidate Deepak Joy in Vypeen constituency. Indian Union Muslim League leader T.A. Ahamad Kabeer has also protested against him being denied the Kalamassery seat.
In Thripunithura, District Congress Committee general secretary A.B. Sabu lashed out at Mr. Babu and alleged that senior party leader Oommen Chandy had bargained a seat for Mr. Babu, as the former Excise Minister was the funding source for Congress candidates.
Addressing mediapersons, Mr. Sabu said Mr. Babu would spoil the party for the UDF in the State.
Mr. Babu was attempting to fool voters by saying that he had obtained a clean chit from the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in the bar bribery case. It was by sporting a report of the Bureau that Babu attempted to whitewash himself. However, no court has accepted the report, he said.
Mr. Sabu, who maintained that he would continue to be in the party, said he would not campaign for the former Minister.
When contacted, Mr. Babu chose not to respond to the developments. “Let the party handle the issue,” he said.
In Vypeen, Mr. Haridas, a general secretary of the INTUC, said he would field himself as a candidate if the trade union asks him to take the tough stand. The union will take out a Statewide protest march on March 16 against the non-inclusion of its leaders in the Congress list. If the party does not concede, a meeting of the organisation on March 17 will decide on fielding its candidates in all the constituencies, said Mr. Haridas.