Cong-DIC(K) finalise electoral tie-up

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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 24: The Congress and the Democratic Indira Congress(K) of veteran leader K Karunakaran today (Mar 24, 2006) announced their decision to put up a joint fight against the Left forces in the April-May Assembly polls in Kerala.

After working out the details of the electoral understanding between them, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and DIC(K) president K Muraleedharan said they would fight the elections together.

Mr Karunakaran would be returning to the United Democratic Front camp nearly a year after he formed the DIC(K) after splitting with the Congress.

Though a section of Congressmen strongly opposed the tie-up, it became possible after Mr Karunakaran made public 'his respect for Soniaji as a member of the Nehru family.' As per the understanding, reached at the initiative of the Indian Union Muslim League, the DIC(K) would be given 18 seats in the 140-member House.

The party would merge with the Congress afer the elections, though of would fight the election individually.

The tie-up was announced last night by Mr Karunakaran and Congress Working Committee member in charge of Kerala, Veerappa Moily, after several rounds of discussion.

A written agreement for the return of Mr K Karunakaran into the parent organisation was signed today. 'Once the Assembly elections are over, the DIC(K) will merge with the Congress,' Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said after PCC president Ramesh Chennithala and DIC(K) president K Muraleedharan signed the agreement. Though there was a strong demand within the DIC(K) to retain its identity, it finally agreed to ink the pact after persuasion by the IUML, which played the part of negotiatior.

Earlier, after lengthy talks at the city home of Mr Karunakaran, leaders of both parties said it was a happy moment for them.

'We are determined to win the election with the blessings of Mr Karunakaran and the coalition partners. The United Democratic Front will come back to power,' Mr Moily told newspersons.

Mr Muraleedharan and Mr Chennithala said both parties would work for the defeat of the Marxist-led Left Democratic Front. IUML general secretary P K Kunhalikutty said it was a happy moment for all.

UNI

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