Consensus on the merger issue eludes UDF meeting
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 30, 2010, 23:51
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 consensus.

"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.


First Published: Sunday, May 30, 2010, 23:51

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