New Delhi: In a virtual snub to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and PCC Chief Ramesh Chennithala, Congress MPs from the state on Tuesday sought senior leader AK Antony's "services" for putting the "house in order" in the party-led UDF government in the state. The MPs made this demand during their interaction with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House.
Party MPs and central ministers from the state, including Antony, Vayalar Ravi, KC Venugopal, KV Thomas, Kodikkunnil Suresh and Shashi Tharoor, attended the meeting which lasted for one-and-a-half hour, sources said. The MPs told Gandhi there is a better coordination between Chief Minister Chandy and PCC Chief Chennithala but the government's good performance is marred by the "issues being created by small parties".
They said "Antony has wide acceptability" among leaders of UDF's "small allies" and caste leaders and his "services" is required to solve the crisis in the ruling combine, sources said. The MPs were apparently referring to the crisis in the state government due to differences between leaders of small parties and alliance formed by pro-Congress upper caste Hindu organisation Nair Service Society (NSS) and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) against the Chandy government and KPCC.
The caste leaders had alleged the UDF government is a pro-minority regime headed by leaders from minority Christian and Muslim communities and leaders from the Hindu community did not have any role in the administration. The fight between the leaders of small parties like Kerala Congress have also created trouble for the Chandy government and one such incident forced Kerala Congress (B) representative KB Ganesh Kumar to quit Cabinet. He resigned as Forest Minister after Kerala Congress (M) leader and government chief whip P C George levelled allegations against his personal life.