The Telegraph
Sunday , March 16 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Chacko paints grim picture

Thiruvananthapuram, March 15: Senior Congress leader P.C. Chacko today stirred a storm, saying the political situation was not in favour of the party and the outcome of the general election could not be predicted.

“The Indian situation is not in favour of Congress. So in the Indian situation, we are facing an adverse situation. What will be the result is unpredictable,” Chacko, also one of the party’s official spokespersons, said at a meet-the-press programme at the Ernakulam Press Club.

He said he did not rule out the possibility of the Congress sitting in the Opposition after the election, sending the party’s Kerala unit into a tizzy and raising queries of what could have prompted him to make such remarks.

Lest his words be interpreted as political posturing, the Chalakkudy MP began with a preface. “If my words have to be credible, shouldn’t you also feel what I’m speaking is right?”

He then went on to target the Prime Minister, attacking him for talking little and blaming him to a large extent for the uncertainty the UPA was facing.

“It was decided that the Prime Minister should hold press conferences. But he does not talk much. He talks very rarely. We had stressed that he should see reporters at least once in a week. The biggest uncertainty that the UPA is facing now is the misfortune resulting from the inability to convince people about the government’s achievements and the negative publicity that is choking us,’’ Chacko said.

The comments were enough to trigger a storm in the party. Congress Kerala chief V.M. Sudheeran said he did not know in what context Chacko made the remarks. “Nobody expects such a statement from him. Everyone should desist from making statements that can create confusions or uncertainty.”

Kerala home minister Ramesh Chennithala sought to play down the comments. “I don’t know why Chacko spoke like that. Congress is facing the polls with full confidence.”

Chacko’s reply to a query on the Congress’s prospects in Kerala confirmed whether he was suggesting the UPA was on its way out. “There is an interesting contradiction between national and state politics. The situation is that whenever (we) lose there (Centre), we win here (state).”

A recent survey had given the Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala 13 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats.

Two days ago, the Congress high command had intervened to ensure that Chacko was shifted to the “safer” Thrissur Lok Sabha seat from Chalakkudy.