Chandy opposes plea to include NCP in Kerala UDF

January 6th, 2009 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy disagrees with veteran party leader K. Karunakaran’s suggestion to include the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).Karunakaran said on Jan 1 that the Congress had failed to put up a credible fight against the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led ruling alliance in the state and called for an alliance with the NCP before the Lok Sabha elections.

Karunakaran’s son and former Kerala Congress president K. Muraleedharan heads the NCP state unit. Karunakaran had described his son as a crowd puller.

“I respect Karunakaran. I welcome his statement that the opposition should work more vigorously to expose the wrong doings of the LDF (Left Democratic Front) government. But I cannot agree with his opinion that the NCP should be incorporated in the UDF,” Chandy, who is Leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly, told IANS here Tuesday.

“There is peace and unity in the state Congress and the UDF at present,” Chandy said, indicating his disinclination for allowing the NCP into the UDF fold.

Other two important constituents of the UDF, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Kerala Congress-Mani (KC-M), have not opposed the NCP’s entry into the UDF.

Citing the state Congress unit’s decision against alliance with the NCP, Chandy said a consensus decision was needed in the UDF for accommodating a new party into its fold.

Karunakaran and his son had quit the Congress and formed the Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran in 2005 following a clash with a Chandy-led faction of the party. They merged their party with the NCP in 2006 but Karunakaran deserted his son and returned to the Congress last year.

The Congress would field “new faces and youths” in the Lok Sabha polls, Chandy said when asked whether the party was planning to field former UN under secretary general Shashi Tharoor from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

“The situation in the state is ripe for the UDF’s huge victory in the state. The Congress will take no chances and it will be more cautious to win the elections,” the senior Congress leader said.

Slamming the V.S. Achuthanandan-led state government for its “complete failure” on all fronts, Chandy said people were fed up with the factional feuds with in the CPI-M.

“The chief minister and other Left leaders don’t have time to discuss the issues of the people. No development activities are taking place. The Left government is the worst that the state has ever seen,” the former chief minister said.

Referring to the Smart City project agreement signed between the state government and Dubai-based Media Free Zone Authority, the leader of opposition said there was no progress in the project 15 months after the foundation stone laying ceremony.

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