KERALA

The significance of `nine'

With nine legislators owing allegiance to the recently formed National Congress (Indira) putting in their papers on Tuesday, it is as though history has repeated itself, albeit in a slightly different manner.

The figure `nine' has been crucial in the history of the Congress in Kerala. Way back in 1967, the Congress had just as many legislators under the leadership of K. Karunakaran. From nine, it went up over the years, the major credit for which is due to Mr. Karunakaran. Now, after he floated his own party, the NC (I), `nine' has once again become a critical number. NC(I) president K. Muraleedharan made a mention of the significance of the number at his press conference soon after the resignation drama. Meanwhile, the nine `former MLAs' put on a brave face. "We are not only happy but also relieved," said M.P. Gangadharan, one of them.

J. Ajith Kumar

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