Former Congress leader PC Chacko on Tuesday joined the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, six days after quitting the Congress, reported. Chacko, who hails from poll-bound Kerala also said that he will be campaign for the Left Democratic Front in the Assembly elections.
The LDF in Kerala comprises of the CPI(M), Communist Party of India, Kerala Congress (M), Pawar’s NCP, Janata Dal (Secular) and other smaller parties.
Chacko said that the country needed a united Opposition that should emerge as an alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party. “I don’t see that initiative in the party which I was a member of earlier [a reference to the Congress],” he said.
Chacko added that he was happy to be the member of a party that had a direction, NDTV reported. “I join NCP as part of the LDF,” he said. “The country today needs the Left and other democratic parties to come together.”
Pawar also echoed Chacko’s view. “There is a need for a third front in the country but it has not been given a shape yet,” the NCP chief was quoted as saying by ANI. “We have been talking to different parties. Sitaram Yechury has also stated the need for it today.”
Pawar added that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had expressed happiness about Chacko joining the NCP.
Chacko, a former Lok Sabha MP from Thrissur district in Kerala, had quit the Congress on March 10. He complained of “groupism” in the Congress and claimed that there was no democracy left in the party.
Chacko also said that being a Congress leader in Kerala was very difficult. He claimed that a party member can “survive” only if one belonged to a faction in the Congress.
Several Congress leaders had hit back at Chacko for speaking against the party. Congress National spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that it was Chacko who had encouraged “groupism” in the party’s Delhi unit when he was in-charge.
Elections for 140 Assembly seats in Kerala will take place in a single phase on April 6. The votes will be counted on May 2.