Congress clinches seat deal with IUML, CMP

Congress in Kerala, heading the United Democratic Front (UDF) on Wednesday reached an agreement with its major ally Indian Union Muslim League on seat-sharing, but problems continued with Kerala Congress-M and JSS.

Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 21:12 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress in Kerala,
heading the United Democratic Front (UDF) on Wednesday reached an
agreement with its major ally Indian Union Muslim League on
seat-sharing, but problems continued with Kerala Congress-M
and JSS.

In the bilateral talks held here today, Congress also
struck a deal with Communist Marxist Party (CMP), allotting
three seats to the party led by M V Raghavan. CMP state
secretary K R Aravindakshan told reporters that Raghavan would
contest from Azhikode in Kannur district.

However, Kannur DCC president P Ramakrishnan voiced
resentment over the unilateral announcement by the CMP on the
Azhikode seat.

An agreement eluded even after second round of talks with
JSS headed by K R Gowri as the party insisted on its demand
for five seats.

After the parleys, IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty said an
agreement had been reached on the number of seats and the
constituencies, but the details would be announced after the
seat-sharing talks with other partners were over.

The demand of Kerala Congress-Mani that it should get 22
seats continued to be a major problem for the UDF. One more
round of discussion is slated to be held with KC-M leaders
later tonight.

Mani held that with the added strength after the merger
with P J Joseph faction, his party deserved the number of
seats it demanded.

The Congress leaders` talks with Kerala Congress-Jacob
also remained inconclusive.

In the LDF, the lead partner CPI-M began parleys with CPI,
which has been pressing for at least 30 seats.

Meanwhile, the CPI-M state committee concluded its two-day
session without deliberating on the vital question on fielding
Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan for the contest.

Party sources indicated that a decision on key candidates
would be finalised next week after eliciting opinion from
district units of the party.

PTI