Thiruvananthapuram: Despite efforts from various quarters including Union Defence Minister A K Antony to assuage the sentiments of Young Turks in the Congress over the reported insults made by Government Chief Whip P C George, many MLAs are heading for a showdown with the latter and to put him in place. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC president sensing the gravity of the situation are in touch to prevent any further flare-up, it is reliably learnt.
The Young Turks among the Congress MLAs - T N Pratapan, V D Satheesan, Hibi Eden and V T Balaram - and a few others in other parties in the UDF closely identified with the group are determined to teach George a lesson this time. They have sounded the leadership that they may even think of disobeying any whip issued by George as Government Chief whip. The MLAs are also raising the banner of protest over an apparent all-round feeling that the UDF had deviated from its stand on land issues adopted while in the Opposition, when it came to power.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy went on record stating that the rift between George and Prathapan will be amicably resolved. “We’ll discuss the issue with all UDF constituents. KPCC president and myself will interfere in the issue and it will be solved soon,” said Chandy.
The proposed visit of T N Pratapan MLA and team to Nelliampathy on Monday causing much resentment among UDF nominees in the sub-committee who have already paid a visit to the region, is a clear indication of fresh trouble brewing in the UDF.
KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala felt that they will not resort to such a step. "They are our boys. Their sentiments are genuine. It is very wrong on the part of George to make comments against them in that fashion,’’ Chennithala told Express. "Things cannot be allowed to drift in this manner. It will create more trouble," he said.
The Kerala Congress leadership is maintaining a guarded silence on the spat between George and Congress MLAs, as in the case of his open rift with Forest Minister K B Ganesh Kumar on the same Nelliampathy issue. “I’m told not to speak out. I will remain silent. Truth will come out in the end,” George told Express. The overdependence of the Chandy government on the IUML and the Kerala Congress for survival will have a definite bearing in the final outcome.