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Cong fixes bypoll blame

New Delhi, Oct. 7: Congress central observers today blamed some state unit leaders’ “anti-party activities” for the party’s defeat in the Ernakulam parliamentary bypoll.

Observers M. Veerappa Moily and G.K. Vasan submitted their report to party president Sonia Gandhi today.

Within hours of the submission, Kerala chief K. Muraleedharan, camping here for the past three days, met Sonia. Later, he asserted that there was no anti-party activity during the poll.

Muraleedharan also defended his father and rebel leader K. Karunakaran against charges of working against the party nominee, M.. John. Any move to initiate disciplinary action against Karunakaran or his supporters would prove counter-productive, he said.

Although Muraleedharan said “I cannot tell you what I have privately discussed with the party leader (Sonia)”, he appeared to soften on some counts.

He dismissed suggestions that the Karunakaran faction had served an ultimatum on the high command for removing A.K. Antony as chief minister by November 19.

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