Congress leader PL Punia termed Vijayan Thomas' exit from the party as 'horse-trading in the play' and accused the BJP of using money and central agencies to lure members of the grand old party. Ex-Kerala Congress leader Vijayan Thomas joined BJP on Friday following former Thrissur MP PC Chacko - a Sonia Gandhi loyalist - who also announced his exit from the grand old party earlier this week. Opining on Vijayan Thomas' exit from Congress, PL Punia claimed that BJP was involved in horse-trading in the poll-bound state of Kerala and alleged that the saffron party was an expert in using central agencies and money power to gert Congress leaders to join its party. Punia went on to claim that the people did not accept such turncoats.
"Kerala is a poll-bound state, The Cong leader has joined BJP. This is horse-trading in play. BJP is an expert in this with the use of Central agencies and money and power they lure them, People do not accept such turncoats", said PL Punia, opining on Vijayan Thomas' exit.
Addressing the press after joining the BJP on Friday, Vijayan Thomas said that many leaders within the Congress were upset but were not making their views public. Vijayan alleged that the states were not looked after properly by the party's units and claimed that many senior leaders were to exit the party very soon. Thomas Vijayan is from the powerful Latin Catholic community that is deep-rooted in the coastal Christain belts of the state capital. When Shashi Tharoor had contested the Lok Sabha elections for the first time in 2009, Thomas' name was reportedly actively discussed at the time. Prior to joining BJP, Thomas had resigned from KPCC general secretary post.
In a big blow to Congress ahead of the Kerala Assembly polls, senior leader PC Chacko announced his exit from the grand old party on Wednesday. Addressing the press on Wednesday, PC Chacko called Congress a 'total failure' and revealed that he had submitted his resignation from all positions to party president Sonia Gandhi. PC Chacko was a former Congress MP in the Lok Sabha from the Thrissur constituency.
Speaking to the press, PC Chacko alleged that candidates were not selected by Congress on the basis of winnability and claimed that only one or two persons were involved in the selection of candidates. The former Congress MP further claimed that the party was split into two factions in the state (A & I) and that he had asked the party's high command to protect those who didn't belong to either group. PC Chacko revealed that Congress' high command was merely accepting the names of the candidates on the list submitted by the two groups while ignoring other worthy candidates.
Targeting Congress and its leadership, PC Chacko noted that the party was unable to find a president for itself and that it was impossible for him to remain loyal to the party under the present conditions. Further, the ex-Congress spokesperson said that Congress could not maintain democracy in the country and said that no one questioned the party;'s high command or Rahul Gandhi. Chacko claimed that the people of Kerala wished to see Congress back in power but said that it was ruled out owing to factions within the party.
In the 2016 Kerala Assembly election, the CPI(M)-led Left Front swept the 140-member Assembly by bagging 91 seats. In contrast, the candidates of the UDF could win from only 47 constituencies. On the other hand, BJP failed to make an impact with only O Rajagopal winning from the Nemom constituency. Subsequently, CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Kerala on May 25, 2016.