Consult UDF constituents: KC(J)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM DEC. 7. The Working Committee of the Kerala Congress (Jacob) suggested on Sunday that the Congress high command should hear the opinions of the UDF constituents, if needed, to resolve the problems in the State unit of the Congress.

Calling upon the high command to take steps to settle the crisis in the Congress, it observed that the functioning of the Government was not fully satisfactory.

Briefing presspersons on the deliberations of the two-day meeting of the committee, which concluded here today, the party chairman, Johnny Nelloor, said that it would be desirable for the high command to consult the UDF constituents also to improve the functioning of the UDF.

Though the Government had done many good things, it could not convey information about these to the people, he said.

The party leader, T.M. Jacob, said that his party was not ready to suggest any solution to the problems in the Congress.

Its policy was not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Congress and there would be no demand on how to solve the problems.

Mr. Jacob said his party had no objection to the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, handling the police portfolio. It was the prerogative of the Chief Minister to decide on who should handle the portfolio.

He said his party had never held discussions with the Karunakaran faction in the Congress regarding leadership change. The party had not discussed any ties with the CPI(M) internally as such a question had not arisen so far, he said.

He said all constituents of the UDF were of the opinion that the crisis should be resolved. They had together entrusted the IUML leader, E. Ahmed, with the task of conveying this to the Congress high command.

He was also told to suggest that the opinion of the constituents may be sought.

That, however, might not mean that Mr. Ahamed would continue to represent the UDF constituents, he said in reference to the CMP leader, Mr. M.V. Raghavan's remark that Mr. Ahamed did not represent the UDF.

He did not propose to react to Mr. Raghavan's remark that his party and the Kerala Congress(B) would sway between the Antony and Karunakaran faction depending on who was stronger.

Constituents should show mutual respect for the good of the UDF, he said.

Mr. Jacob said the victory of the UDF candidate in the Thiruvalla bypoll was a collective one. It was not the victory of the Kerala Congress alone. The Revenue Minister, K.M. Mani, may be trying to create the impression that it was his victory by accusing the Kerala Congress(J) of not actively participating in the campaign.

He had attended the election convention of the UDF at Thiruvalla, he said. He had not addressed any campaign meetings because he had not been invited.

The local leader of the party, John Jacob Vallakkalil, said that he had coordinated the campaign in the constituency by the party. Mr. Mani had thanked him for that.

If he was speaking differently now, there was a secret political motive behind that.

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