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High command to take a `comprehensive view'

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI NOV. 12. The Congress today said it would take a ``comprehensive view'' on the developments in Kerala and described the remark of the senior leader, K. Karunakaran, on the party president, Sonia Gandhi, as an ``expression of dissatisfaction''.

Responding to questions on the party's stand on Mr. Karunakaran's comment in a newspaper interview about a ``coterie'' surrounding the Congress president, the party chief spokesperson, S. Jaipal Reddy, said while it was a view, the whole thing should be taken in the context of the developments in the State unit of the party.

``We will take into consideration various developments within the Kerala unit before taking a final view,'' he said.

Asked whether the remark that Ms. Gandhi was surrounded by a coterie amounted to an act of indiscipline, Mr. Reddy said it did, but added that the remark would have to be viewed in the context of Kerala developments.

No coterie: Antony

Our Special Correspondent adds from Thiruvananthapuram:

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister, A. K. Antony, said here on Wednesday that there was no complaint among Congressmen that a coterie surrounded the Congress president.

Responding to questions from reporters at a Cabinet briefing about Mr. Karunakaran's remarks in this regard, the Chief Minister said the Congress president was functioning in a most democratic manner. All issues that needed to be decided through the discussions in party fora were being discussed before decisions were taken. A recent example was the selection of candidates for the State elections. Ms. Sonia Gandhi had declined to accept proposals to authorise her for selection of candidates for certain constituencies.

"She entered politics because we, Congressmen and the Congress Working Committee, compelled her to do so as the Congress was disintegrating," Mr. Antony recalled.

He said that he was not reacting to the participation of the Electricity Minister, Kadavoor Sivadasan, at a function in which Congressmen had taken a pledge to block his way.

"I am a Chief Minister and a Congress worker. There is an unusual political situation in the State. The main Opposition party, CPI(M), is trying to split the Congress unit and undermine the Government at any cost and with support from anyone."

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