Thiruvananthapuram: In the run-up to the state polls to be held in a few months, the two major factions of the Kerala Congress are lobbying to bag from their respective fronts maximum assembly seats to contest from in the high-stakes battle.
The Kerala Congress (Mani) and Kerala Congress (Joseph) wings have started exerting pressure on LDF and UDF respectively to part with more assembly constituencies from where they can field their own candidates.
In a couple of months there would be more clarity on the share of seats each constituent parties in the fronts may get. Often, major factions of the Kerala Congress are allotted a dozen-odd seats in the state polls.
The recent shift of the Kerala Congress (Mani) to the CPM-led LDF would be deemed gainful if it bags more seats than it had been allowed by the UDF. It is not known whether the latter alliance would share with the Joseph faction as many seats it had been granting to the Mani faction.
As united Kerala Congress (M), the UDF leadership had allotted 15 seats to the party in the last elections. The two parties are trying their best to get somewhere near to that figure.
After the spectacular showing of the LDF in the recent local body polls, the Kerala Congress (Mani) believes that its political clout has gone up considerably. On the other hand, the P J Joseph’s party failed to deliver on the expected lines which could adversely affect its bargain power.
Likely seats for Kerala Congress (M)
Kerala Congress (M) is expecting to get at least 12-13 seats from the LDF leadership.
The party led by Jose K Mani has reportedly ensured Pala, Kaduthuruthy, Kanjirapally, Idukki and Changanassery in its kitty. It has a good chance of getting Poonjar, Ranni, Piravom, Chalakudy, Perumbavoor and Irikkur too. It also expects to get from the LDF one among Perambra, Kuttiyadi and Thiruvambadi constituencies.
The CPM is actively considering fielding a Kerala Congress (M) candidate against P J Joseph in Thodupuzha.
Jose K Mani might contest from party founder K M Mani's stronghold Pala though Kaduthuruthy too could be an option. In case Jose plans to contest from Kaduthuruthy, Roshy Augustine will shift to Pala from Idukki.
Likely seats for Kerala Congress (Joseph)
Kerala Congress (Joseph) has demanded 15 seats but the Congress may be willing to grant only 7-8 seats from the UDF share. The party has likely ensured Thodupuzha, Kaduthuruthy, Kuttanad and Kothamangalam constituencies which it had contested in 2016.
The Joseph group is also eyeing Changanassery, Irinajalakuda and Thiruvalla for leaders like Thomas Unniyadan and Joseph M Puthussery who crossed over from the Mani faction. By doing so the party can stake claim for seven seats.
The party believes that it could get a seat each in Idukki, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta districts besides one in the Malabar region.
Totally, Joseph group is hopeful of getting 10 to 11 seats under any circumstances.