Consensus on the merger issue eludes UDF meeting
Kochi: The crucial United Democratic Front
meeting, convened to discuss merger of the two Kerala Congress
factions led by K M Mani and P J Joseph, failed to arrive at
any consensus with both Congress and Kerala Congress(M) not
prepared for any compromise.
This was the first UDF meeting after merger of Kerala
Congress factions, led by Mani and Joseph. While Mani faction
is with the opposition UDF, Joseph`s party had been with the
ruling Left Democratic Front.
Briefing reporters after a nearly three-hour-long
meeting, UDF convenor P P Thankachan said the meeting
discussed in detail the merger, but could not arrive at a
"Unless there is a compromise, a solution to resolve the
issue would elude us," he said.
Another meeting would be held next month on the merger
issue, he said, adding "the chapter is open, not closed".
No coalition partner would harm the UDF unity, he said,
adding the partners felt that the merits and demerits of the
merger should have been discussed in the Front.
Thankachan pointed out that when the Janata Dal faction
led by M P Veerendra Kumar joined the UDF, the issue had been
discussed in the front.
Peeved over KC(M)`s unilateral decision to merge with the
Joseph faction, Congress once again stuck to its stand that
the merger should have been discussed in the UDF.
An equally firm Mani was of the view that the issue was
`family affair` and need not be discussed in the front.
Mani told reporters that the discussions were
`satisfactory` and held in a `cordial` atmosphere.
Opposition leader, Oommen Chandy, KPCC President, Ramesh
Chennithala, IUML leader, P K Kunhalikutty, were among those
who attended the meeting.
A UDF delegation led by CMP leader, M V Raghavan would
visit the violence hit Kannur region in two days time.
The LDF government, which was celebrating its fourth year
in office, had failed to contain violence and custodial
tortures, Thankachan alleged.
It was not only the RSS-BJP workers who were being
attacked by the CPI(M) workers, but also IUML and Congress
workers, he said. There has been 157 custodial deaths in the
state in the last three years, he said.
UDF was prepared to attend the second all party meeting
on the widening of the national highway, he said.
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