Debating India

KERALA

UDF not to admit NCP

Tuesday 19 December 2006

Special Correspondent

Meeting did not discuss KC (Jacob)’s plea to rejoin front

KOCHI: A week after the ruling Left Democratic Front showed the door to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the United Democratic Front (UDF), on Monday, decided against the party joining the Opposition front.

"It is a closed chapter," P. P. Thankachan, convenor of the front, said at a news conference after its liaison committee met here in the forenoon.

"Taking the NCP into the UDF fold is not under consideration."

No one at the meeting wanted to take Mr. Karunakaran’s party in. The NCP had supported the Left front in the Thiruvambadi byelection, Mr. Thankachan said.

Now that the two had parted ways, both of them should give up positions of power in local bodies that they had won by helping each other after the panchayat elections. "Political morality demands that they give up the positions they had won when the LDF and the (erstwhile) DIC(K) [Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran] were in alliance," he said.

The meeting did not discuss Kerala Congress (Jacob)’s application to rejoin the front. Mr. Thankachan said it reviewed the UDF’s performance in the byelection and concluded that though it had narrowly missed the seat, the front had made political gains. The LDF’s narrow victory margin was proof that the electorate was frustrated with the Government’s failures over the past six months, he said.

"The electoral outcome shows that to a large extent, people supported our criticisms of the Government."

Mr. Thankachan said the meeting decided to launch a State-wide agitation against the Government by highlighting what he described as the recent steep increase in prices of essential commodities, deteriorating law-and-order situation and re-emergence of political violence between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

He alleged that the LDF kept double standard on the ADB loan. In the Opposition, the front and youth organisations of the CPI(M) had campaigned against the loan. Mr. Thankachan said a meeting of the top UDF body and chiefs of the front’s district committees on January 3 would take a final decision on the date of launching the agitation and the strategies.

See online : The Hindu

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