Sonia intervenes in Congress-IUML spat in Kerala

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New Delhi, May 28 (UNI) Congress President Sonia Gandhi has taken serious note of the differences between her party unit in Kerala and the IUML, the main partner of the Congress-led Opposition United Democratic Front, and directed the state leadership to resolve the issue through discussions.

The issue came up during a meeting Ms Gandhi had with PCC Chief Ramesh Chennithala and Congress Legislature Party Leader Oomen Chandy here today.

The differences between the two parties had cropped up last week following statements issued by Congress leader Aryadan Mohammed and his son and Nilambur Panchayat President Aryadan Shaukat against IUML supremo Panakkad Mohammed Ali Shihab Thangal.

Irked by the remarks, IUML workers went on a rampage on Saturday night, attacking the Congress Offices in Nadapuram in Kozhikode district. On May 26, Union Minister Vayalar Ravi called on Mr Thangal and underlined the need for unity among the UDF coalition partners.

Mr Chennithala told mediapersons the differences would be sorted out through discussions with the leadership of the IUML, which continues to be the major partner of the Congress-led coalition for the past 40 years.

He said the party leaders and cadres would be given a strong message that they should not strive to weaken the UDF, even while making efforts to strengthen the Congress.

All the partners of the ruling coalition should stand united in the fight against the anti-people policies of the Marxist-led V S Achuthanandan government, he said.

Mr Chandy said the problem that had cropped up in Malappuram between the Congress and the IUML was not a new one. There were such disturbances many a times before. However, they were resolved through discussions.

Mr Chennithala said they had presented a report to Ms Gandhi regarding the organisational activities of the party in Kerala.

UNI SH HS HT1747

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