NCP to debate whether it should join Congress in Kerala

January 9th, 2009 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will Monday discuss the crisis in the party’s Kerala unit after the Congress objected to it being included in the United Democratic Front (UDF).The party is waiting for NCP president union minister Sharad Pawar to reach New Delhi before discussing the issue Monday, senior NCP leader D.P. Tripathi told IANS.

The move follows former Kerala chief minister and Congress leader Oommen Chandy’s opposition to including the NCP’s state unit in the UDF. The NCP in Kerala is led by former state Congress president K. Muraleedharan, who is the son of veteran leader K. Karunakaran.

Both father and son had split from the Congress to form a separate party, the Democratic Indira Congress - Karunakaran that allied with the NCP. When it didn’t work out, Karunakaran went back to the Congress while Muraleedharan joined the NCP.

Karunakaran has been suggesting that the Congress should form an alliance with the NCP in the state before the Lok Sabha elections and described his son as a crowd puller.

But Chandy disagrees.

“I respect Karunakaran. But I cannot agree with his opinion that the NCP should be incorporated in the UDF,” he said.

While the debate continues, some sections of the NCP are not very enthusiastic about joining the Congress.

Said senior NCP leader and former Kerala minister M.P. Gangadharan: “They (the Congress leaders in Kerala) are not interested in an alliance with us. So, we are also not interested. Moreover, our interest is to go along with the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the state.”

He said discussions on the matter had already started.

“There are some difficulties in forming an immediate alliance with the LDF. But we will overcome all obstacles,” Gangadharan said.

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