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Congress keeping open mind on Karunakaran issue:Chennithala

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Mar 3 (UNI) The five-day 'sampoorna sansthana sammelan' of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), which started here today, will take the final decision on the question of an electoral tie-up with the estranged party leader K Karunakaran, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said today.

With the election commission announcing assembly polls in Kerala in April-May, it has become imperative for the Congress, which has suffered a string of reverses in assembly and parliamentary by-elections as well as the local body elections in the past one year, to take a decision on Mr Karunakaran soon.

The political options for the veteran politican have also become limited in the light of the decision by the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) not to have any truck with him, directly or indirectly, in the coming elections.

Talking to reporters after the formal inauguration of the 'sampoorna sansthana sammelan', Mr Chennithala said the party had an open mind on the issue on any alliance with Mr Karunakran. The KPCC executive, which discussed the six major resolutions to be passed during the meet, also touched upon this issue, this morning.

''However, the ultimate decision will be taken only after the general body meeting discusses the political resolution on March six, followed by the plenary session on March seven. We want to know the mind of our workers on this matter. No decision will be imposed from the top. All view points will be heard and a final decision taken in the interest of the party,'' he added.

Mr Chennithala admitted that that there were different views within the party on having any truck with Mr Karunakaran, who had floated his own group, the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) (DIC-K), after parting ways with the Congress last year.

Party president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to address a public rally here tomorrow evening, which will virtually flag off the Congress campaign to retain power in the assembly elections.

On the five-day 'sammelan', which is being held after a gap of 18 years, Mr Chennithala stated that there had been problems within the party in the past, which had made it difficult to hold any such conclave.

''There was inner-party rivalry earlier. But, now there is peace and tranquillity. There is unity and discipline in the party structure,'' he added.

On the SNC Lavalin issue, Mr Chennithala accused the CPI-M of trying to protect state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, in whose tenure as electricity minister the controversial deal was signed.

The KPCC chief said that he had written two letters to CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat on this, but had received no response. The CPI-M politburo should clarify its stand on the matter, he added.

UNI ARC DK1442

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