Tells KPCC president to take action to curb such tendencies

Union Minister for Defence A.K. Antony has urged Congress leaders in the State not to cross the limit with group-driven factional feuds.

Delivering the inaugural address at a working convention of the district Congress here on Saturday, Mr. Antony said it was suicidal for Congress leaders to argue like rivals for their respective groups through television channels.

Urging Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala to take stern action to curb such tendencies, Mr. Antony said there should be no compromise on discipline within the party.

There may be differences of opinion. But that should be aired in appropriate party forums. Such party forums should be strengthened and should meet more frequently.

Mr. Antony said he was not a dreamer and was realistic enough to understand that group politics cannot be simply shooed away. But it should not cross the Lakshman Rekha.

While emphasising on the need to rejuvenate the party and its feeder organisations in preparation for the Parliament election, Mr. Antony was quick to add that election was not going to be held any time soon but only when its due. Stating that the organisational structure of the party in the State should be strengthened at the grass-roots level, Mr. Antony observed that the party’s contact with the people had come down. The party’s presence was missing in platforms for resolving the modern Kerala society problems.

The State had changed beyond recognition and the party should formulate its politics and programs gauging the writings of the new era, Mr. Antony said.

Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said the recent controversies that rocked the United Democratic Front (UDF) government were unacceptable. Stating that the functioning of leaders of some coalition parties was an insult to the UDF government, he said the Congress alone cannot ensure the unity of the coalition but needed the cooperation of all partners.

Mr. Ravi said that it was the responsibility of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Mr. Chennithala to ensure that similar controversies did not repeat and the front remain united. Mr. Ravi said that while there was nothing wrong in going to the Gulf for jobs, but the prospective job aspirants should ensure that all the necessary documents were in order.

Else, the government would be left to deal with a situation similar to the one it was tackling in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Ravi said that about one-lakh Indian expatriates would have to be brought back from that country but was confident of achieving it.

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