Sunday, Oct 19, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Special Correspondent
On his first visit to the national capital after the Ernakulam by-election to present his case before the All India Congress Committee (AICC) panel looking into indiscipline during the by-poll, he is said to have accepted his share of the blame for the verdict while maintaining that anti-party activities also led to the Congress defeat.
Though anti-party activities were cited by Mr. Antony as a reason for the defeat, there were indications that minority disaffection with the Congress over the Marad issue is being increasingly viewed as the primary cause for the loss of a seat that has been a Congress stronghold. While citing the anti-party activities that took place during the run-up to the September 23 by-poll, he has apparently stopped short of naming anyone in particular. Reluctant to divulge the details about what transpired during his meeting with the panel, the Chief Minister was categorical in stating that he had refused to suggest any course of action on the plea that he himself was a party to the issue at hand. This was confirmed by the chairman of the panel, L. P. Shahi, who insisted that Marad and not the Chief Minister's anti-minority statement appeared to be the cause for the minority turnaround.
Apologetic for the defeat, Mr. Antony, however, sought to downplay the verdict, maintaining that the party had lost the Ernakulam seat twice in the past. As for his differences with the senior leader, K. Karunakaran, the Chief Minister refused to join issue with him through the media. But when asked how the party could function with constant bickering within, he said: ``Ours is a democratic party with space for differences and dissent, provided the `lakshman-rekha' is not crossed.''
Meanwhile, the panel has decided to ask the convener of the United Democratic Front, Oommen Chandy, the defeated candidate, M. O. John, and another aspirant, Lino Jacob, to come to Delhi. However, with the chairman leaving town for a week on Sunday and most of the members on the panel preoccupied with the forthcoming Assembly elections, the next meeting may take a while and a final decision on this issue even longer.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of