Kerala

KC factions defer unity parleys

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Talks only after bypolls so as not to disrupt current political equations

The Kerala Congress factions that are trying for a rapprochement will resume parleys only after the completion of the byelections to the five Assembly segments.

The move initiated at the behest of Kerala Congress leader P.C. Thomas, now an ally of the National Democratic Alliance, has been put on hold so as not to disrupt the existing political equations ahead of the elections.

Mr. Thomas told The Hindu that the preliminary round of talks held in Dubai was successful and the participants, Francis Joy (Kerala Congress (Democratic), an ally of the Left Democratic Front; and Kerala Congress (M) leaders P.J. Joseph and Jose K. Mani, a constituent of the United Democratic Front; were ebullient about the idea of coming together.

Global convention

The leaders set the talks in motion when they attended a global convention of the Catholic Congress in Dubai last week.

Much more than the leaders, Kerala Congress workers, cutting across group affiliations are enthused by the development and are keen on bringing together the groups under one umbrella, Mr. Thomas said. The move came in the wake of the severe setback suffered by the Kerala Congress(M) in the Pala Assembly byelection.

The leaders would hope to bring in other factions headed by R. Balakrishna Pillai and Kerala Congress (Jacob). Whether they would support the initiative remains to be seen.

Mr. Thomas is hopeful of forming a unified entity, with an enhanced bargaining capacity, soon after the bypolls. If the factions resolve to bury their differences and join hands, it would be a game changer in the State’s politics, especially in Central Travancore, where the party is a force to be reckoned with.

Much more than the LDF and the NDA, the UDF may have to bear the impact and be forced to give in to pressure from the emerging party. The results of the five byelection too will be significant in deciding the course of the merger move, sources said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:26:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kc-factions-defer-unity-parleys/article29612602.ece

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