Kerala: Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan asks SJD and RSP to pull out of UDF

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Kerala: Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan asks SJD and RSP to pull out of UDF
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 3: Leader of opposition V.S. Achuthanandan Monday asked two of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) allies, the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Socialist Janatha (Democratic) Party, to leave the Oommen Chandy-led Kerala government.

The call from the Communist veteran and former chief minister comes at a time when the Chandy government has been pushed into a tight corner after Finance Minister K.M. Mani came under a cloud last week following a bribe allegation.

Biju Rajesh, Bar Hotel Owners Association working president, alleged that Mani had taken Rs.1 crore as bribe to see that the 418 closed bars are opened.

"The Chandy government is daily running into trouble with new stories of corruption coming out and I am told that it's just not Mani who has taken money in the bar issue, but there are other ministers also involved. Both the SJD and RSP should seriously think if they should be part of this shameless government," Achuthanandan said in a statement here.

"Also people of Kerala wish to know the opinion of these two parties on the allegation that has come out against Mani," he added.

Both RSP and SJD were once part of the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF). While the SJD parted ways with the LDF ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the RSP left it just before the 2014 polls.

The RSP currently has three legislators, while the SJD has two. And if the two heed Achuthanandan's call, then the two rival fronts will each have 70 seats each in the 140-member Kerala assembly.

Interestingly, Achuthanandan's call to the former allies is also aimed at another level against CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who is said to have a soft spot for Mani. The stand taken by both Vijayan and Achuthanandan over the Mani graft allegation has become a topic of discussion in political circles as Achuthanandan sought a CBI probe in the matter, while Vijayan said the CBI has lost its sheen.

IANS

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