Staff Reporter

Says it would strengthen fight for regional development

  • A faction of Kerala Congress (Secular) joins KC(J)
  • Talks on with regional parties in the North

    KOTTAYAM: Kerala Congress (J) chairman P.J. Joseph has called for the formation of a confederation of regional parties at the national level.

    Addressing the unity conference organised in connection with the unification of one of the factions of the Kerala Congress(Secular) with the KC(J), Mr. Joseph said his party was engaged in talks with likeminded parties in this regard.

    "We will welcome any move for the formation of a confederation of State parties aligned with the Left," Mr. Joseph said.

    Though Mr. Joseph did not elaborate on the issue, sources close to him later said the party had initiated talks in this regard with regional parties in the North. The effort was part of the attempts to form a third front.

    "The Kerala Congress is not new to such a dispensation as it was one of the active partners in the National Front Government formed by V.P. Singh in 1989. In fact, the party became a member of the LDF through the National Front," they pointed out.

    The party always stood for regional development and under the present circumstances, unity among all Kerala Congress factions was a necessity, Mr. Joseph said.

    The party made an earnest call in this direction and P.C. Thomas, leader of the Indian Federal Democratic party (IFDP), joined the party after disbanding his party.

    The return of Eapen Varghese after disbanding the Kerala Congress (Secular) too would strengthen the fight for regional development, Mr. Joseph said.

    He claimed 90 per cent of those who left the party during the formation of the KC(Secular) had returned to the parent organisation.

    He called for writing off the accumulated interests of farmer's loans.

    The Kerala Congress chairman called for Central assistance for tiding over the crisis in the farm sector and said Vidarbha model packages for all districts was necessary for the State.

    Mr. Eapen Varghese stressed the need for strengthening the Kerala Congress since national parties were treating the regional parties like expendable small fishes of politics.

    A strong Kerala Congress had contributed much in defusing the conflict among farmers and farm workers, in fighting for the rights of the settler farmers and the restructuring of the Centre-State relations, he said.

    The conference was chaired by A. Varghese, one of the senior leaders of the party. KC(J) working president K.C. Joseph, P.C. Thomas, Francis George (both MPs), T.U. Kuruvilla, Minister for Public Works, Mons Joseph, MLA, George Sebastian, general secretary, KC(S) general secretary Elias Zacharia and others participated in the meeting.