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LDF yet to take decision on `I' group, says Pinarayi

Staff Reporter

`Front watching turmoil in Congress party'

KASARAGOD: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, has said that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has not discussed the issue of the `I' faction in the Congress joining its fold.

At a meet-the-press programme organised by the Kasaragod Press Club, he said the Left front was watching the political turmoil in the Congress and would respond in case of an eventuality.

"The `I' group is one among the factions in the Congress facing a crisis within the party. Let us wait and watch. We will discuss, and let all of you know our stand at the appropriate time," Mr. Vijayan said.

Acknowledging what he described as the proactive support being extended by the Indian National League to the front, Mr. Vijayan said the issue of seat-sharing with it would arise only at the time of elections.

He said the minorities had their own apprehensions, but this was being misused by certain fundamentalist organisations to make communal feelings flare up. A consolidation of minority fundamentalist forces would only help strengthen the majority radical forces and the CPI(M) had been taking a bold stand against such forces.

Beedi industry

On the crisis being faced by the beedi industry, he said apart from a weakening market, the apathetic attitude of the Government towards the sector had worsened the situation.

"The industry is the lifeline of thousands of people in Kasaragod and Kannur. But the Government had failed to contribute in any way to help the industry.An effective intervention can save the industry," Mr. Vijayan said.

Unhealthy competition and a shrinking beedi market reversed the graph of the industry over a period of time.

"Slashing of production and reduction of working hours are all aftermaths of this. We also diversified into other businesses, but the new ventures were unable to script a success story. However, no one can destroy the unity and strength of the workforce in the industry," he said.

Later, Mr. Vijayan addressed a public meeting at Kumbala in connection with the eight death anniversary of Marxist leader Bhaskara Kumbala.

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