Special Correspondent

KPCC chief says Congress is capable of taking on CPI(M) on its own in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala has dismissed with contempt the BJP call for a joint movement against the CPI (M) in the State.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Chennithala said the BJP call was a pre-meditated move to weaken the Congress, which, in any case, did not want its help to fight the LDF. The Congress, he said, was capable of taking on the LDF and the CPI (M), its main enemy in the State on its own. Mr.Chennithala was referring to a resolution purported to have been passed by the silver jubilee conclave of the BJP in Mumbai in which it reportedly called for a joint movement against the CPI (M).

Asked about the earlier allegations about BJP links, he remarked that those who had forged such links were no more in the party. "It is now public knowledge that the same people were responsible for lining up the BJP's support for the LDF candidate in the just concluded Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha byelection," he said.

Mr. Chennithala said the Congress was the only party that had never allied itself with the BJP. The CPI (M) had supported the formation that included the BJP's earlier avatar, the Jana Sangh, in 1977 and the V. P. Singh Government in 1989. The uncompromising position against the BJP had even prompted it to support the CPI (M) candidate in the municipal chairman's election in Palakkad recently. He recalled that the BJP could not have elected its candidate as vice-president but for the CPI (M)'s support. "We were particular that the BJP should not be ushered in to office and at the same time the democratic process should not be disrupted. Hence we decided to vote for the CPI (M) candidate," he said.

In reply to a question, he said the CPI (M) had the responsibility of explaining to the electorate why its chairman-elect chose to resign soon after the election and frustrate attempts to restore the democratic process in the municipality.

Asked for his party's stand on the delimitation of constituencies and Mr. Achuthanandan's petition to the President, Mr. Chennithala said he was not aware of the technical issues relating to the Presidential announcement. "One thing is clear. Mr. Achuthanandan does not have a constituency to contest. That is why he is so concerned," he added.

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