Fissures in Congress' Kerala unit over retail FDI

New Delhi: A war of words has erupted in Congress in Kerala over the issue of allowing FDI in retail with a senior MP on Wednesday attacking PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala for opposing the Centre's decision while another lawmaker from the state has come out in his support.

"I am in favour of FDI. If anybody is having a personal opinion (against FDI), it is his personal opinion," Thrissur MP P C Chacko told reporters outside Parliament House.

Reacting to a question on Chennithala's letter to Prime Minister opposing FDI in retail, Chacko claimed the matter was not discussed in any party forum in the state.

"It (Chennithala's view) was not discussed in any party forum and the party can go only by the decision taken by the government. Government has taken a decision. Cabinet has taken a decision and the Congress party will go by that and there are no two opinions on this issue in the party," Chacko said.

However, Kannur MP K Sudhakaran came out in strong support of Chennithala saying the KPCC chief took the decision knowing the "pulse of thousands of retail merchants and party workers" in the state.

"People of Kerala cannot agree with the Centre's decision on FDI. The party cannot agree with it. It will erode our support base because majority of retail merchants are Congress supporters. The Congress in the state is firm behind the PCC chief on this issue. We won't allow the UDF government to implement it in the state," Sudhakaran said.

"The PCC chief's was a well thought out decision after understanding the pulse of the people and party workers. We cannot push our supporters in a crisis. No true Congress worker from Kerala can question his decision on this issue," he said.

Sudhakaran alleged that the central government took the decision on FDI "in a hurry" without discussing it even with party leaders and MPs.