KERALA

KC(B) may latch on to legalities

KOTTAYAM Nov. 9. The Kerala Congress (B) may seek refuge under legal technicalities to wriggle out of the disgraceful situation created on account of the unprecedented demand by the UDF for explanation from the party chairman, R. Balakrishnan Pillai, on the `PDP March' controversy.

Hints regarding the strategy were dropped by none other than Mr. Pillai when he met mediapersons for an informal chat here today. Reacting to a question on the issue of explanation sought by the UDF, Mr. Pllai pointed out that the issue was sub judice and as such it would not be proper for him to make any official comment on the issue at this point.

"That the issue is sub judice, had been stressed by the Chief Minister himself, Mr. Pillai pointed out.

He, however, said that he would attend the next meeting of the UDF liaison committee scheduled for November 22. "They now think that I am fit to be part of the august body and wanted me to be present,'' quipped Mr. Pillai, who had refrained from attending the UDF liaison committee meeting ever since the controversy on his Ministership tarnished the honeymoon period of the Antony Government. According to him, the misgivings expressed by certain quarters regarding his speech inaugurating the PDP March, had been removed following the publication of its complete text in the media. The KC(B) supremo said that the UDF had a responsibility to take necessary steps to obtain a bail for the PDP leader, Abdul Nasir Maudany.

"It is a human rights issue,'' he said. He expressed suspicion that the violence during the controversial PDP march might be the handiwork of vested interests who crept into the crowd.

He stressed the need for more cohesion in the UDF and gave a pat for its convener, Oommen Chandy, who according to him was the most suitable person to hold that position.

"If the constituents followed the directives of Mr. Chandy, there would not have been any problem in the coalition,'' Mr Pillai said.

Without naming the KPCC president, K. Muraleedharan, Mr. Pillai said that only two persons had the right to speak on behalf of the UDF — its chairman (the Chief Minister) and the convener.

According to Mr. Pillai, one major drawback in the UDF was the lack of mutual consultation.

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