Staff Reporter

Says there is no move to join JD(S) faction led by Veerendrakumar

KOLLAM: Babu Divakaran, State president of the Samajwadi Party (SP), said here on Wednesday that he was examining whether going ahead with the SP in Kerala under the present political scenario would be helpful.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Divakaran said he would make his political position clear in two weeks.

Mr. Divakaran said he had not initiated any move to join the Janata Dal (Secular) faction led by M.P. Veerendrakumar. Though at present his party was not in the United Democratic Front (UDF), he had always adopted a pro-UDF line, Mr. Divakaran said.

He dismissed the charges made by Janadhipatya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS) leader K.R. Gouri that he was responsible for not reinstating arrack shop workers who had lost their jobs after the ban on arrack.

Though he was the Labour Minister during the previous UDF rule, the question of accommodating the arrack shop workers was vested in the Excise Department. In fact, after the UDF came to power, a policy decision on reinstating arrack shop workers was taken only after three years.

This was because the previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had terminated their services by paying them their due compensation.

Even after the UDF government decide to reinstate them, the Excise Department was in a fix, as no records were available on the 4,500 arrack shop employees. It was in such circumstances that the Labour Department prepared a list on the basis of the names in the respective welfare fund board, recommending the reinstatement of 1,500 employees initially. But, some other workers moved court against the list, as a result of which the reinstatement process was stalled.