Differences in Congress over joint agitation

Monday, Nov 21, 2016,15:25 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Differences have cropped up in the Congress, the lead partner in the Opposition UDF, over whether or not to hold joint agitation with the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF against the Centre on the Cooperative sector, which is facing a severe crisis following demonetisation.

The UDF held a meeting this morning on the stand to be taken shortly before the all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the issue was to be held.

While Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said UDF was prepared to fully support the LDF government on the issue and go for joint agitation to take on the Central government, KPCC President V M Sudheeran took a totally opposite stand, saying no such decision was taken at the UDF meeting.

Making it clear that UDF would support the state government on the issue, Chennithala said the meeting also decided to pass a joint resolution in the assembly on the Cooperative sector.

Among the other decisions were that an all-party delegation would go to Delhi to submit a memorandum and apprise Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of the difficulties being faced by the cooperative sector due to the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.

“If no solution is found after meeting the Central government, then Kerala will unitedly launch a joint agitation on the issue,” Chennithala told reporters after the UDF meeting here.

Asked if UDF and LDF would launch joint agitation, an annoyed Chennithala remarked, “after listening to the whole Ramayana, you are asking who is Sita?”

However, Sudheeran said UDF had not decided to join hands with the government to launch joint agitation. “It was only decided that a delegation will meet the Prime Minister and Finance Minister and apprise them of the situation in the state.”

“An effort will be made to find a way on the matter and if no solution is arrived at, then UDF will meet once again and decide the future course of action,” Sudheeran told reporters soon after the meeting.

Media reports saying UDF had decided for joint agitation were “incorrect”, he claimed.

Differences had cropped up in Congress over joint agitation with LDF after Sudheeran yesterday said it would not be appropriate for UDF to launch such agitations with the rival front.

He had said that since all parties, except BJP, had come out against Modi government’s attitude towards the Cooperative sector, there was no necessity to think about a joint stir.

Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had earlier decided that the state should jointly launch agitations with the LDF on the cooperative issue.

IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty was also in favour of joint agitations.