Opposition firm on its demand for P.J. Kurien’s resignation

The United Democratic Front (UDF) high-power committee meeting here on Monday, scheduled to discuss and take decisions on certain crucial issues, will turn out to be a strategy session to counter the agitation by Left parties and organisations seeking the resignation of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien in connection with the Suryanelli sex-scandal case.

Senior UDF leaders say the ruling coalition has no other alternative but to go for a confrontation with the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the light of its determination to go ahead with the stir till Prof. Kurien resigns. “There is no platform for conciliatory talks. The State government has made its stand clear on the demand for reinvestigation in the Suryanelli case,” the sources said.

If at all any decision needs to be taken about Prof. Kurien’s resignation, it is for the party high command to take the call. Besides, Prof. Kurien has got the benefit of a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court, they say.

The immediate problem before the UDF is to see the ongoing Assembly session through without disruption. Since the LDF has made it clear that it would continue its agitation, the UDF high-power committee is expected to take the decision of going ahead with the business of the House and getting some bills passed in the absence of the Opposition.

Key issues

Owing to the impending political impasse, the committee may defer discussions on some key issues that have been pending for some time now. These include the Nelliampathy encroachments, Pariyaram medical college takeover, appointments of vice chancellors of some universities, and filling of vacancies in the Cochin, Malabar, and Koodalmanickam Devaswom boards.

The Congress is looking forward to the support of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in its proposal to meet the LDF agitation head-on.

The IUML, which has been clamouring for expediting the Vigilance case against Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, will be keener to put Mr. Achuthanandan on the mat, it is felt.

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