P C George sacking widens Kerala UDF rift

File picture: P C George

The crisis in the United Democratic Front (UDF) of the state will further widen in the coming days with the decision to remove Kerala Congress (M) vice chairman P C George from the post of Government Chief Whip. Sources close to UDF confirm that the removal of Mr Georgefrom the post is likely to fall in place once chief minister Oommen Chandy returns from his foreign visit to Dubai on Thursday. It has been learnt that the decision was taken after KC (M) Chairman KM Mani refused to budge an inch on his decision to remove Mr. George from thepost of Chief Whip.

With the reconciliatory efforts of chief minister Oommen Chandy and Minister P K Kunhalikutty failing, there is no option left with Mr Chandy but to remove George from the post and find an amicable solution to the deepening fall out in the front.

With the by-election to Aruvikkara, which was vacant after the death of Speaker G Karthikeyan, approaching and the elections to the Local Self Government’s to be established within a year, the ousting of George will be likely to cast a shadow over the future of the front.

George had himself found in troubled waters recently by airing the opinion that Mani should have resigned as finance minister soon after

the bar license bribery arose. The remarks sparked a controversy within the party and KC (M) legislators decried the permitting of Mr George to make denunciatory comments against the party and its leader. Mr George has been in the news while for his overreaching comments. But Mr Mani stood a mute stand on the leader as he is a man who knows too much about Mr. Mani’s shady deals. But the veteran leader was forced to initiate action against Mr George this time as he had exceeded the limits.

On Friday, after the legislature’s party meeting, Mr Mani conveyed the party’s decision favouring the removal of Mr George. Mr Mani said that the decision on Mr George was taken unanimously with all the eight legislators of the party voting against Mr George. “The situation has come to such an extreme that there is no other option other than to remove George from the post. He has been continuously reprimanded from making adverse statements against the party. He didn’t heed” said Mani.

Challenging Mani, Mr George on Friday said that he won’t accept the decision of the legislators meeting which he was not invited. He said that he ought not to be the victim of frightening, through the Chief Whip post and dangling the provisions of anti-defection laws. “It is not Mani who posted me as the Chief Whip. He had only asked for two ministerial posts and a deputy speaker post. It is after I denied taking up the deputy speaker post that the UDF decided to give the Chief whip post” said George. He added that he doesn’t want to continue mere as a puppet vice-chairman of the party and is ready to step down at any time.

“Chief Minister has asked me to wait until a solution is found. I am waiting for the decision” he said. He also made it clear about reviving his defunct Kerala Congress (Secular) and to continue as an independent ally in UDF.

Meanwhile, Mr George on Saturday denied about the removal decision and said that he had talk with chief minister in the morning and he was asked to wait until a solution was discovered before making any further statements.

Mr George said that he did not have anything to say as of now and more will be revealed after Easter if the decision goes against him.