Debating India


Karunakaran’s party merges with NCP

Monday 13 November 2006

Special Correspondent

KOCHI: The 17-month-old K.Karunakaran-led DIC(K), Kerala’s youngest political party, is no more. At a huge `merger convention’ held on the Marine Drive grounds on Sunday, it merged with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the presence of senior leaders of both parties.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, the NCP national president, who is now in hospital, was to have attended the convention. Instead, Mr. Pawar deputed Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel to take his place at the convention. As crackers burst and thousands of Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) cadre cheered, Mr. Patel handed the NCP flag to DIC(K) president K. Muraleedharan, thus marking the unification of the two parties.

The convention was a DIC(K) show all the way and its units across the State could bring in a large number of people to the convention. Mr. Patel, who praised Mr. Karunakaran as the `architect of modern Kerala’ said that with the merger of the two parties, two great national leaders (Mr. Pawar and Mr. Karunakaran), who had worked together in the Congress party before, were now coming together.

Mr. Karunakaran said Sunday was a historic day in India’s politics. He said certain sections of the media had tried to write him and his party off, but they should take note of the large crowd. Referring to the coming byelection in the Thiruvambady Assembly constituency, Mr. Karunakaran said: "If we all pull together strongly it (the Assembly seat) will come with us."

DIC(K) president K. Muraleedharan said the DIC(K) was merging with the NCP `unconditionally.’

See online : The Hindu

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