RSP(B) to wait till April 13

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM April 9. The RSP(B) has decided to wait till April 13 before deciding on a course of action with regard to the two Rajya Sabha seats the Congress party could win in a three-cornered contest.

This was stated by the RSP(B) general secretary, A. V. Thamarakshan, here today, while expressing his party's views vis a vis the clear cut position taken by the other UDF constituents. He said that his party would have to evaluate the impact of the RS elections on the Assembly constituencies contested by his party and several other factors before taking a decision.

He had convened the State committee meeting of the party on April 13 and the SC would decide the final course of action. If the situation were to become fluid, his party would take a decision which was in its best interests, he added.

Mr. Thamarakshan said that he had undertaken mediatory efforts to solve the problem in the Congress by meeting the senior Congress leader, K. Karunakaran, the Chief Minister, A. K. Antony, and the UDF convener, Oommen Chandy, to discuss a way out of the impasse.

He said that Mr. Karunakaran had informed him about his own problems that led to his fielding a rebel for the RS elections.

He said that the people of the State had voted the UDF to power with great hopes. The Antony Government had implemented several important policy measures, but it had miles to go to fulfil its promises.

He cited two issues, the rehabilitation of the coir sector and the disinvestment of public sector undertakings, which the UDF had failed to take a decision even though it was months ago that UDF committees headed by him had submitted its report.

The UDF Government had also failed to tackle unemployment, which was one of the important issues, which required urgent attention.

He said that the RSP(B) was the only UDF constituent which had lost ground in the 2001 Assembly election. The party had three seats when it joined the UDF, but this was reduced to two in the ensuing elections.

It was the responsibility of the Congress, as the leading party in the coalition, to ensure that the UDF's image remained in tact. He said his party had joined the UDF because it earnestly felt that the Congress was the only party, which could effectively fight the BJP on a secular platform.