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Kerala unit to decide on tie-up with Karunakaran

Written by: Staff

Kochi, Mar 5: Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said it is for the Kerala unit of the party to decide whether to have an electoral tie-up with estranged party leader K Karunakaran.

In an informal interaction with the editors of three leading Malayalam dailies and a television channel, Mrs Gandhi said the central party leadership will consider the matter only after the local unit makes any suggestion on it.

''It (any tie-up with Karunakaran) is to be decided by my colleagues locally. We come in only at a later stage,'' she told the editors, according to AICC sources present during the 30-minute meeting.

Mrs Gandhi also observed that workers' enthusiasm, displayed during the party rally here last evening, was a very good sign and hoped their zeal will be carried forward and be reflected in the election outcome.

According to the sources, Mrs Gandhi's observation on the Karunakaran issue assumes significance in the light of the fact that the state unit is divided over the issue of any electoral tie-up with Mr Karunakaran's Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) (DIC-K) during the assembly polls next month.

''While deciding on the issue, the party will have to go by the cold logic of electoral arithmatic and not by passion and emotions,'' they added.

While some leaders in the Kerala unit feel that keeping Mr Karunakaran out of the UDF would cut into the Congress votes, the others aver that the front does not need his support, especially in the light of the fact that the state unit is now working as a more united and cohesive force with the exit of Mr Karunakran and his son K Muraleedharan from the party.

The senior leaders of the UDF front partners, who met Mrs Gandhi last night, are understood to have spoken in favour of some kind of a tie-up with the DIC (K). However, they have left the ultimate decision on this to the Congress party.


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