Thiruvananthapuram: The opposition United
Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala today approved in principle
the merger of the two Kerala Congress factions led by K M Mani
and former minister in the LDF Government P J Joseph.
"The merger is a reality now. Though the Congress
wanted KC-M to have the issue discussed in the Front, they
went ahead and merged with KC-J which was till recently with
LDF. Joseph is now part of KC-M which is in the UDF," Front
convenor P P Thankachan said after a UDF state-committee
Congress and other UDF partners, who had been
demanding that the merger be discussed in the Front, have
apparently decided to play down the issue as the local body
elections are round the corner.
Thankachan also welcomed the support extended to the
UDF by Indian National League for the local body polls, but
said the Front had not made any poll arrangements with the
He described as "politically motivated" the LDF
Government`s decision to hold a crime branch inquiry into the
charge that Socialist Janata (Democratic) leader M P
Veerendrakumar had encroached land in Wayanad District.
"This is nothing but political vendetta. They (LDF)
are trying to tarnish the image of a leader who had been with
them for the last 32 years. The allegations have suddenly come
up when he left the Front and joined the UDF," Thankachan
The UDF meeting discussed the preparations for the
local body polls slated for September and authorised leaders
of its constituents for overseeing the campaign in various
The liaison committees of the Front in all districts
would meet on July 1 and Assembly-level meetings would be held
on July 2, he said.