Oommen Chandy clears the air on criticism raised by PJ Kurien
Thiruvananthapuram: AICC General Secretary and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has responded to the criticism raised by Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman and senior Congress leader PJ Kurien that the allotment of Rajya Sabha seat to Kerala Congress was a ploy adopted by Oommen Chandy to remove him.
Speaking in a news conference convened after the UDF meeting, Chandy said that he was an active participant in all the elections from the time of Kurien's first contest to the Lok Sabha.
I was with him at all stages of the elections. The present criticism has been raised without knowing the issue. The allegation that I misled the leadership is wrong. Kurien can understand this if he speaks to the Congress President, Chandy said.
"Saying that I opposed Kurien in 2012 is not correct. However, there is a half-truth in the statement. When the Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant in 2012 when I was the Chief Minister, I told Kurien that an opportunity should be provided to a person from Malabar. I also suggested the name of NP Moideen. However, Kurien insisted and I agreed. I had told Kurien the same day that I am making the suggestion on the insistence of the leaders and that this was not my opinion," Chandy said in the detailed response.
Chandy said that the UDF will go forward unitedly with the arrival of KM Mani in the UDF.
“The UDF has gained a new self-confidence with the arrival of Kerala Congress. Several allegations were raised against Mani during the last stages of the previous government. Reports have come out during the tenure of the LDF government that there is no truth in the cases that existed against him. The UDF has proved that the stand adopted by the front in the past and present is correct. Protests have occurred in some places in connection with Mani's return to LDF. I do not blame them. All of them see only one thing - that the Congress has lost the Rajya Sabha seat which it deserved. Hence, they protested,” Chandy said.
AK Antony contested when only one seat was available in 1991. The party could not allot seat to Kerala Congress continuously. However, they have accepted this. The Kerala Congress gets one seat when the UDF gets two seats. The UDF got two seats in 2003. As the Kerala Congress had some difficulties then, Congress took up both the seats,” Chandy said.