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UDF leaders meet Sonia, speak in favour of tie-up with Karunakaran

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, March 4 (UNI) Senior leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF) met Congress president Sonia Gandhi here tonight to discuss the strategy for the assembly elections next month, including a tie-up with the estranged leader K Karunakaran.

The UDF partners, who had separate meetings with Mrs Gandhi, are understood to have spoken in favour of a tie-up with Mr Karunakaran's DIC (K), but have left the final decision on the matter to the Congress president.

As the DIC (K) was formed after Mr Karunakran parted ways with the Congress, it was appropriate for the Congress only to decide whether it wanted to have any truck with the veteran leader and in what form.

Among the possible scenarios which have been discussed are a ''homecoming'' for Mr Karunakaran and his son Muraleedharan to the Congress, or the induction of the DIC (K) into the UDF or alternatively an outside electoral adjustment between the UDF and the DIC (K).

Among the front leaders who met Mrs Gandhi at the Government Guest House here were IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty, CMP's M V Raghavan, K R Gowriamma of the JSS, K M Mani of the Kerala Congress (M), Babu Divakaran of Revolutionary Socialist Party (Marxist), Shibu Baby John of RSP (B) and R Balakrishna Pillai of Kerala Congress (B).

Mrs Gandhi is understood to have asked the various UDF constituents of their assessment of the political situation in the state, the government's performance and the front's prospects in the assembly elections next month.

The UDF partners have expressed optimism about their prospects, especially if they can put up a united fight, with the added support of Mr Karunakaran.

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