Ex-Congress leader Chacko joins NCP

Former Congress leader P.C. Chacko on Tuesday joined the Nationalist Congress Party after meeting its supremo Sharad Pawar.

Ahead of joining the NCP, he had met Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. The NCP is part of the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala where Assembly elections are approaching.

Chacko said: “The need today is for unity in the opposition parties. A united opposition should emerge as an alternative to the BJP. I don’t see that initiative in the party which I was a member of earlier.”

A former MP and Delhi in-charge, Chacko quit the Congress on March 10. He said he sent his resignation letter to party interim chief Sonia Gandhi, saying that “it had become difficult to continue in Congress”.

Chacko was miffed over ticket distribution in his home state Kerala.

“There is no democracy left in Congress. Candidate list has not been discussed with the state Congress committee. I have sent my resignation to Sonia Gandhi,” Chacko had said.

He blamed the leadership for continuing to be a mute spectator. “Being a Congress leader is Kerala is very difficult. If you belong to some group in Congress, then only you can survive in the party as leadership in the Congress is not much active.”

He said in Kerala the party is divided between former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, whom he blamed for the step he had to take.