`I' group meet comes down heavily on Govt.

ALAPPUZHA, JAN. 20. The Alappuzha district leadership meet of the `I' group in the Congress, held here today, in a resolution demanded organisation elections in the party on the basis of membership issued before the last election.

The former president of the Alappuzha DCC and leader of the group in the district, G. Balachandran, who moved the resolution, said that certain groups in the Congress which lacked the support of even average party workers were cornering official positions in the party at present. He challenged them to come to power in the party by contesting party elections. The group also warned against any attempt to sideline the senior party leader, K. Karunakaran.

The meeting decided to complete the conference of the group in all Assembly constituencies in the district before February 11. The group will organise a reception to Mr. Karunakaran in Alappuzha on the day.

P.P. George, MLA, who inaugurated the meeting, said the decision to curtail benefits of Government employees was taken in haste and had only helped the Government to earn the wrath of its employees. He said the Government should not have favoured the recommendation of the State Planning Board to postpone disbursement of salary to its employees to tide over the financial crisis.

According to Mr. George, it would have been ideal had the Government inquired into the corruption charges raised against the members of the Cabinet. He said that the policy of letting loose the police had led to the violent response of pilgrims at Pamba and Nilackal recently.

The incidence of violence at Thumpa and the communal violence that erupted at Beypore had resulted from the inability of the police to handle such situations, Mr. George said. He and several other speakers were of the opinion that the Congress workers were not getting justice from the police under the present Government.

The KPCC general secretary, Saratchandra Prasad, said though the Karunakaran group had agreed to the demands of the Antony group when the UDF Government assumed power, the latter did not keep its word. He blamed the Antony group for prolonging the reconstitution of DCCs.

Shobhana George, MLA, who spoke at the meeting, said the Antony group was hindering the reconstitution of DCCs to belittle the KPCC president, K. Muraleedharan. She said that party workers could not hold their head high under the present Government. Those who spoke at the meeting included the MLA, D. Sugatan, Rajmohan Unnithan and various youth leaders of the party.

Though it had been announced that Mr. Karunakaran and Ms. Padmaja would participate in the meeting, they did not turn up.

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