Allies engage in war of words in Kerala

In Kerala’s gripping post-poll politics, a war of words is being fought through editorials and articles on official mouthpieces of prominent parties.

The Congress-led ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) that won 12 of the 20 seats in the Lok Sabha election — four seats less than its 2009 tally – has already seen friction with allies and Congressmen themselves questioning some of the party decisions both at the Centre and in the state.

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the most prominent ally of the Congress in the state, fired first with an editorial on its mouthpiece Chandrika that slammed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign strategies.  The editorial dismissed Gandhi’s poll campaign as a “one-man show” that failed to gauge the pulse of the voter.

The state Congress leadership reacted with the cautious, stock retorts on how blaming one leader for an electoral rout was “unfortunate”. Yet, there was no official response from the Congress that named IUML till the party hit back with its own mouthpiece. An editorial in Veekshanam, the Congress party organ, questioned the IUML’s credentials to offer counsel to the “128-year-old party”. 

The editorial also reminded the League to maintain the coalition dharma of backing allies through their rise and fall. “Despite its loss, Congress continues to be the face of a secular India… the counsel from the League amounts to asking us to go back to the nursery to study politics,” it said.

Meanwhile, state Congress leaders are also making repeated statements on reasons that led to the party’s defeat.

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