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Infighting: Section in Cong seeks Antony's intervention

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Infighting: Section in Cong seeks Antonys intervention
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Thiruvananthapuram: With infighting in Congress casting shadow over the UDF ministry headed by Oommen Chandy, sections in the Congress appear to be keen on intervention of Defence Minister A K Antony to set the house in order before the Lok Sabha polls.

Making an open call on this line, Union Minister of State for Home Mullapally Ramachandran today said Antony should give up his passive attitude towards the affairs in his home state.

"Antony is a leader capable of taking key decisions concerning Congress and UDF. He should not remain passive to the issues in the state," Ramachandran told reporters in Kozhikode.

However, senior leader and Union Minister Vayalar Ravi turned down the possibility of Antony returning to the state. "Antony is the Defence Minister and he has been handling that portfolio quite well. As far as I know, he is not interested in returning to the state where he had three stints as Chief Minister," Ravi, who was also in Kozhikode, told reporters.

Former KPCC president K Muraleedharan, a key player of the anti-Chandy axis, however agreed with the sentiments expressed by Ramachandran.

The dormant factionalism in the state unit resurfaced recently with rivals of Chandy finding fault with the way he handled the 'solar scam', which dented the ministry's image and offered the opposition LDF an issue to unleash a fierce campaign against UDF ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

His detractors had often accused Chandy of not having taken party into proper account in matters such as solar scam.

Last week, during her visit to the state, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had told both Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala that it was their joint responsibility to keep the party united to fight the polls.

As a follow-up on that, AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik, in charge of the state, is scheduled to arrive here later this week to hold threadbare discussions with leaders on the affairs of the party and the Government.

PTI

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