Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar may arrive in Kerala soon to resolve the internal conflict in the state unit of the party. He is expected to visit Kerala within two weeks to hold discussions with the district presidents and executive committee members.
NCP state president T P Peethambaran and Mani C Kappan, MLA, called on Pawar here and briefed him about the developments in Kerala.
After the meeting, the duo said Pawar had made it clear that there is no need to give away the seats won by the party. The party will have to decide its own course if Pala, Kuttanad and Elathur assembly seats are denied.
Transport minister A K Saseendran of the rival faction had earlier told Pawar the other day that it would be foolish to leave the Left Democratic Front which secured a spectacular victory in the recent local body polls.
However, Peethambaran didn't concur and said the NCP doesn't feel there is a pro-LDF ambience in the state.
So far Pawar has not held any discussions with the two factions on the issue of leaving LDF or joining the rival camp UDF. The NCP supremo will announce the party's stand after eliciting the opinion of all sections in the party during the proposed meetings.
Kappan, the Pala MLA, made it clear that there was no question of giving up the Pala seat which was wrested by the party through him.
Excerpts from Kappan's interview after calling on Pawar in Mumbai.
Q: You called on NCP national president Sharad Pawar. What is his stand ?
A: He has directed us that we need not give up the seats won by the party. CPM leadership had got in touch with him regarding seat sharing. But Pawar told them that NCP would not part with its seats including Pala. He will visit Kerala soon to hold discussion with the party functionaries.
Q: There are rumours that NCP might leave the LDF. Is there any plan to leave the LDF?
A: No, not so far. We have not held any discussions with the UDF. All these are in the realm of rumours at the moment. We are with the LDF. Pala seat is ours. The CPM has not asked us to part with Pala. I will contest from Pala in the next Assembly elections.
Q: What are the chances in Pala in the present circumstances?
A: I will win. I have worked hard to secure a victory. Anyone can come to me at any time. No one's recommendation is needed to meet me. I am available in the constituency since 7 in the morning daily and the people of Pala know that very well.
Q: P J Joseph had declared that the UDF would give Pala seat to Mani C Kappan. Is that statement responsible for media reports about your possible entry into the UDF?
A: That is just a misconception. I met P J Joseph in the Assembly and asked him about it. He told me that what he said was that there is a possibility of Kappan becoming a candidate in Pala. No other discussion had taken place.