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Karunakaran for AICC panel to hold party polls in State

By our Staff Reporter

THRISSUR, MARCH 25. The senior Congress leader K. Karunakaran has suggested constitution of an AICC panel to conduct and supervise the coming party organisational elections in Kerala.

Talking to reporters here today, Mr. Karunakaran said there was no question of approving the present KPCC which did not represent more than 70 per cent of the party workers and leaders in the State.``There was not even one Congressman from our side in the list submitted by the present KPCC for participation in the Dandi march. My name was included knowing full well that I cannot undertake such long walks. Who will ask us to approve this KPCC which acts in such an arbitrary and unilateral manner?'' he asked.

Atmosphere changing

According to Mr. Karunakaran, there was a drastic change in the approach of the Congress leadership after his recent talks with the party president, Sonia Gandhi and other AICC leaders. "That is why the KPCC president could not meet Ms. Sonia Gandhi during his recent visits to New Delhi,'' he said. Mr. Karunakaran said that he was again planning to hold talks with the AICC leaders in April.

He said, ``now an atmosphere conducive for the rejuvenation of the Congress in the State is fast emerging. There was no possibility of an immediate explosion in the Congress in Kerala now. Some people thought that they can make all gains by pushing us out. That will not be permitted,'' he said.

Asked about the reports that the AICC leadership was planning to expel his son, K. Muraleedharan, from the party, Mr. Karunakaran said, "As far as I know, only one person in the AICC wants to take action against Muraleedharan.'' He, however, evaded a direct response to the question as to whether the person he was referring to was the AICC general secretary, Ahmed Patel. To a question, Mr. Karunakaran said he would welcome many of the views expressed by the former Chief Minister A. K. Antony on the current problems in the State unit of the party. "I'm keen to know more about the views of Mr. Antony as they appear to be congenial for strengthening the party. I want to carry all the right-thinking Congressmen together.''

Attack on Chandy

Mr. Karunakaran lashed out at the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, for his remarks that he [Mr. Karunakaran] was trying to impose a dynastic rule in the State unit of the party. "I don't want to comment on Mr. Chandy's attempt to hoist his daughter to the leadership of the party. But I will challenge Mr. Chandy to come out with the details of any instance wherein I had approached him seeking favours for my children or any of my people." He said, "the Chief Minister has no qualms in telling lies continuously.

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