Kerala

Nationalist Congress Party in damage-control mode in Kerala

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We have apprised Pinarayi of the situation: Thomas Chandy

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) unit in Kerala, a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, on Friday was caught off guard by the decision of its leader Ajit Pawar to team up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a coalition government in Maharashtra.

The NCP, which has A.K. Saseendran as Minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan government, scrambled to explain Mr. Ajit Pawar’s desertion of a nascent alliance of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP, to back the BJP.

Pinarayi’s response

Thomas Chandy, NCP legislator from Kuttanad, said Mr. Vijayan, who is on a tour to Japan with Mr. Saseendran, spoke with him on the phone.

Mr. Chandy had apprised him of the situation, adding that NCP supremo Sharad Pawar did not back the alliance.

Mr. Vijayan then replied that the defection of Mr. Ajit Pawar was of no consequence to his government.

NCP general secretary T.P. Peethambaran told journalists here that Mr. Ajit Pawar could have had his motives for siding with the BJP against the wishes of Mr. Pawar.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran challenged the CPI(M) to oust the NCP from the LDF. The LDF would lose its secular face if it nurtured a BJP ally in its midst.

LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan said Mr. Ajit Pawar’s decision to join the Devendra Fadnavis government was unexpected.

The NCP in Kerala has disowned Mr. Ajit Pawar. The party has taken a value-based stance and reiterated its commitment to the LDF.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 5:31:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nationalist-congress-party-in-damage-control-mode-in-kerala/article30064488.ece

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