The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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New Delhi, Sept. 25: Sonia Gandhi today formed a three-member panel to probe complaints about K. Karunakaran’s anti-Congress activities following the “brazen” support of the faction led by the veteran Kerala leader to the Left-sponsored candidate in the Ernakulam bypoll.

The panel, headed by the chairman of the party’s disciplinary action committee L.P. Sahi, has been asked to submit a report as early as possible with specific recommendations for suitable disciplinary action against the “guilty”. General secretary R.K. Dhawan and B. Janardhana Poojary, the party’s Karnataka unit president, are the other members.

Senior leaders said there was enough evidence to prove that Karunakaran and his son K. Muralidharan, the Kerala unit president, supported Left Democratic Front candidate Sebastian Paul against party nominee M.. John in the just-concluded parliamentary byelection. “Karunakaran’s indulgence in extreme anti-party activities, both during the campaign phase and on the polling day, was in the open,” said a senior leader. Karunakaran and Muralidharan set up parallel booths at almost every polling station seeking support for the LDF candidate, he added.

The move to consider the hard option was also prompted by reports that Karunakaran might split the state unit and topple the A.K. Antony-led United Democratic Front government and form a ministry with the LDF. “It is a distinct possibility if Sebastian wins,” said a source.

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