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Kerala polls: Congress, DIC-K talks fail

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Last updated on: March 23, 2006 00:13 IST

Efforts to strike an alliance between Congress-led United Democratic Alliance and Democratic Indira Congress-K led by K Karunakaran for coming assembly polls in Kerala failed on Wednesday with both parties refusing to yield on the key issue of number of DIC-K candidates contesting on Congress symbol.

Congress Working Committee member in charge of Kerala affairs Veerappa Moily, who came to Thiruvananthapuram for talks with Karunakaran, chose not to meet the senior leader after talks with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other senior leaders.

After discussions with leaders, Moily said he was not meeting Karunakaran, as the party was not interested in an alliance, ignoring the sentiments of party workers. "The DIC-K issue is not before the Congress now. The statement of Karunakaran against the party had hurt workers," Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Ramesh Chennithala said.

Meanwhile, signalling a possible revival of the deadlocked talks between the Congress and his party, K Karunakaran said he did not criticise Congress chief Sonia Gandhi as he had always held the members of the Nehru familiy in high regard.

Welcoming Karunakaran's statement as a 'positive gesture,' Moily told a television channel that he would try to work out a roadmap for reviving talks with Karunakaran's party after further consultations with the Congress leaders in the Kerala.

The chances of a tie-up between the two parties had dimmed after the DIC-K convention held on March 20 where it held out a confrontationist posture against Congress and rejected the ruling party's conditions for striking alliance. The last ditch-effort made by Indian Union Muslim League leader P K Kunhalikutty, who had from the start been acting as the mediator in the talks between the two parties, also failed to produce any result.

In a related incident, veteran Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader V S Achuthanandan broke his silence over the controversy triggered off by his party's decision to keep him off the electoral fray. He said he wanted an end to the propaganda that the party in the state was divided over the issue.

In a statement in Thiruvananthapuram, he said it was his duty to accept and implement any decision taken by the party's state committee and politburo. "I request all to end the propaganda creating the impression that the party is divided into two opposing camps over the issue of my candidature," he said.

The CPI-M leader said the coming election was a golden opportunity to end the UDF rule that had made the people's life totally miserable. No one should do anything that would help UDF and other 'anti-people forces', he added.

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