Welcomes Joseph's move to come out of the LDF

Kerala Congress (M) party leader K.M. Mani has for the first time formally welcomed the move on the part of the Kerala Congress (Joseph) to come out of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and to merge with his party. According to Mr. Mani, a five-member committee chaired by Joy Abraham, party general secretary, has been entrusted with finalising the modalities of merger terms.

Mr. Mani said the UDF convener would be informed of the developments of the merger moves as and when they unfold. Taking a dig at the Congress leadership who had mounted a scathing attack against the merger moves, Mr Mani said merger was an internal affair of the party which did not need consent from the UDF. “We are not asking to make the Kerala Congress (Joseph) a coalition partner. We are only coming together in our parent organisation and this does not need any authorisation from the UDF,” he said.

“That the Joseph group had come out of the Left coalition is a positive development for the UDF. Instead of making use of the situation emerging out of this development some are bent on destroying the opportunity,” Mr. Mani lamented. “This trend is not going to help anyone,” he said.

He also expressed surprise at the hue and cry over the issue of seat-sharing in the coming Assembly elections which was a year away. “Seats do not belong to any particular coalition partner. It is common for the UDF. They will have to be shared at the time of election on the basis of the legitimate demands of each political party in an equitable manner,” he said.

Mr. Mani felt that the unnecessary furore over the issue of four seats has spoiled the occasion somewhat. He admitted that the controversy had affected the relations between the two coalition partners, “but the whole responsibility for the issue rests with the Congress leadership.”