KARNATAKA

KC(Jacob) district leaders oppose merger move

Faction welcomes merger with NC(I)

Staff Reporter

KANNUR: District leaders of the Kerala Congress (Jacob) on Friday came out openly against the party's merger with the National Congress (Indira).

KC (Jacob) district president Mathew Kunnappalli, while addressing a press conference here, said three of the four party Assembly constituency committees and 16 of the 20 mandalam committees had opposed the party leadership's move to merge with the NC(I). He said he and his supporters would finalise the future course of action to ensure that they remained part of the United Democratic Front (UDF). Mr. Kunnappalli also said the district party activists opposing the merger move would forge a collective forum against the move of the leadership to leave the UDF. He said those who had been working in the Kerala Congress over the last 40 years could not agree to any proposal for the merger. A host of party leaders, including the former State vice-president of the Youth Front James Cherian, district vice-president Baby Valiyakulam, were present at the press conference.

Merger supported

Another group of KC(Jacob) in the district welcomed the party State committee's decision to merge with the NC(I). KC(Jacob) State general secretary K.A. Philip said at a press conference here on Friday that party Mr. Kunnappalli's decision to leave the party was in search of position. He said that Mr. Kunnappalli had been carrying out dissident activities in the party for the past few months. Party election could not be held in the district due to such activities, he said. He added that Mr. Kunnappalli had not raised any objection to the merger proposal when he participated in the State-level deliberations on the proposal. Ninety five per cent of party activists in the district were in favour of the merger, he said.

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