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UDF partners to attend talks

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Changing equations: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala and Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy with M.P. Veerendrakumar, leader of a Janata Dal (Secular) faction, after talks on the faction’s entry into the United Democratic Front in Kochi on Sunday.
Changing equations: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala and Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy with M.P. Veerendrakumar, leader of a Janata Dal (Secular) faction, after talks on the faction’s entry into the United Democratic Front in Kochi on Sunday.

Girish Menon

Next stage after KPCC executive, UDF high power committee meet next month

Congress feels faction will easily get a slot

Muslim League, KC(M) to take part in next round

Thiruvananthapuram: The high profile talks between leaders of the Congress and the Janata Dal(Secular) faction led by M.P. Veerendrakumar in Kochi on Sunday on the latter’s entry into United Democratic Front (UDF) were basically preliminary in nature.

At the end of the dialogues, the two parties had only positive vibes to send out, with the Congress leaders stating in as many words that the Janata Dal(S) faction might not find it difficult to gain a slot.

The Congress party will discuss the issue at the KPCC executive meeting on August 7, followed by discussions with the partners of the UDF. Senior Congress sources said that the next meeting with the Dal leaders would be in the presence of the Kerala Congress (M) and the Indian Union Muslim League leaders.

No conditions

According to Congress sources, the Dal delegation, led by Mr. Veerendrakumar and others, did not place any conditions except that the party should be given the same consideration it got while it was an LDF partner. The Congress team, which included the Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and the UDF convener P.P. Thankachan, said the UDF as coalition treated all partners equally.

Even though the Congress leaders did not state in as many words, their statements after the talks indicated that the Janata Dal talks could proceed to the next stage only with the full participation of the Indian Union Muslim League and the Kerala Congress(M) leaders and the proposals would not run on Congress steam.

Policy issues

The sources said policy issues were also discussed at the meeting, especially in the context of the Dal’s known stand on economic reforms, the Indo-U.S. agreement and a few other topics. The Congress leaders who attended the talks said that they hoped the Dal would accept the UDF’s stated positions on such issues.

The next stage would materialise after the KPCC executive and the UDF high power committee meetings next month, the sources said.

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