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Action against rebels: Chandy to intervene

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 22. The KPCC general secretary, Rajmohan Unnithan, has urged the KPCC acting president, P.P. Thankachan, to refer the proposed move against him to the KPCC Disciplinary Action Committee. The other general secretary, T. Saratchandra Prasad, who is also facing similar action, preferred to keep under wraps his reply to Mr. Thankachan's show-cause notice.

The rebels got a shot in the arm with other factional leaders backing their demand to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee.

The UDF convener, Oommen Chandy, who is one of the most prominent among the Congress leaders opposing the Electricity Minister, K. Muraleedharan, is expected to hold discussions with Mr. Thankachan on Tuesday to sort out the latest headache in the party.

In reply to the show-cause notice, Mr. Unnithan wanted Mr. Thankachan to convene the KPCC executive to discuss the issues he, along with Mr. Prasad, had raised against Mr. Muraleedharan.

Mr. Unnithan, in his reply, said he was prepared to provide evidence to party leaders who were known to be impartial.

The two rebel leaders had earlier contended that the show-cause notice against them was against the party constitution, which did not give any authority to the KPCC president to take action against the general secretaries.

Among the anti-Karunakaran factions, the Fourth Group was more vocal in its demand to refer the matter to the disciplinary action committee, instead of resorting to summary action.

The anti-Karunakaran factions contend that there was no rationale in taking action against the two general secretaries on the basis of their remarks against one individual. It would not stand scrutiny especially in the backdrop of the blatant flouting of party discipline in the last one year or so.

In the meantime, P.P. George, a close confidant of the senior leader, K. Karunakaran, justified the Mr. Thankachan's action in issuing show-cause notice to the rebels. In a statement here today, Mr. George said the outburst of the rebels against Mr. Karunakaran and Mr. Muraleedharan was condemnable coming as it did at a time when the Congress was facing the crucial general elections.

He said Mr. Thankachan had acted in accordance with the party constitution on the basis of his assessment that the two had committed indiscipline. He alleged that the two leaders had come to the forefront of the Karunakaran faction leadership by posing as "suicide squads" but had turned against Mr. Karunakaran and his family when they failed to achieve their aims.

Mr. Prasad had got the opportunity to contest from Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram North Assembly constituencies. But no allegations were made at that time that he had got the ticket on the basis of "payment seats".

The allegations of malpractice were a premeditated attempt to liquidate a political family, he said.

He said several leaders who now occupied important positions in the party at the State level and AICC level had cut their political tooth in Mr. Karunakaran's camp.

Their departure had no effect on the prospects of the Karunakaran faction. Neither would the attacks by the two general secretaries have any impact, he said.

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