The seat-sharing talks with Kerala Congress (Joseph) in UDF remained inconclusive.
Kerala Congress (Joseph) is sticking to its demand for 12 seats while Congress is ready to allot less than ten. Though Congress has asked Joseph to spare Kanjirapally and Changanassery, Kerala Congress is yet to endorse the demand. If any of the two seats is spared, then Joseph wants Congress to give its Muvattupuzha seat to them.
Congress has made it clear that they cannot accept the demand for 15 seats which the united Kerala Congress (M) under K M Mani and P J Joseph used to be allotted earlier.
However, the Kerala Congress says that is the reason the party has spared three seats. An understanding has almost reached on allotting Idukki, Thodupuzha, Kothamangalam, Kaduthuruthy, Thiruvalla, Irinjalakuda, Kuttanad, Kanjirapally or Poonjar to Kerala Congress (Joseph). One more seat is likely to be allotted in Malabar.
However, the Joseph Group has argued that when the seats of Congress and the Muslim League are increasing then why their quota is being reduced two rounds of discussions were held on Monday. The details of the talks were conveyed to P J Joseph who is currently under treatment. The seat-sharing talks will continue on Tuesday.
Kerala Congress is demanding Muvattupuzha for Francis George. However, Congress is planning to field Joseph Vazhakkan or Mathew Kuzhalndan from the seat. If Congress gets Changanassery then it would field K C Joseph or else Vazhakkan will leave Muvattupuzha and opt for Changanassery.
But if Muvattupuzha is also given up the Congress will disappear in Kothamangalam, Muvattupuzha, Thodupuzha, Idukki belt. The question - why a constituency which the party can wrest from the LDF should be given up - has already cropped up in Congress.
League likely to get three more seats
The final agreement on seat-sharing with the Muslim League will happen only on Wednesday. The League which had contested 24 seats in the last poll has demanded three more this time. Congress is willing to give two.
League is likely to get Koothuparamba, Beypore, Chelakkara. However, the League is not interested in Chelakkara.
Shibu Baby John, Ullas Koovoor, Babu Divakaran - RSP candidates in Kollam
An agreement has been reached on the candidates who will contest RSP's three seats in the Kollam district. The recommendation regarding candidates will be handed over to the state leadership after the district committee meeting this week. The state leadership will announce the candidates on March 10. Former minister Babu Divakaran will be the candidate in Eravipuram, former MLA and state secretary A A Azeez has clarified that he will not be in the fray this time. Former minister Shibu Baby John from Chavara and Ullas Kovoor from Kunnathoor.
Babu Divakarn who contested in 1987,91,96, 2001 and 2006, got elected in 87,96 and 2001. He became a member of the A K Antony and Oommen Chandy Cabinet in 2001 and 2004 respectively. Of the Kaipamangalam andAttingal seats, the party will contest in Attingal again. The UDF leadership has not made its stand clear on the demand for a seat in place of Kaipamangalam.
CP John in Thiruvambady
There is a possibility of Thiruvambady seat being allotted to CMP general secretary C P John under the Muslim League's quota. The Congress and League are exploring the possibility again.
The seat is being considered for John following the understanding that the move will be beneficial for the UDF in the backdrop of the differences that had surfaced between the Muslim League and Church leadership. At present, the UDF has only a few Christian candidates in the Malabar region. The front leadership has taken this issue into consideration.
Though the League is keen on the formula, the Congress is yet to speak its mind.
Young MLAs in the Congress had urged the party leadership to give special consideration to CP John who has stood with the UDF for 35 years and made valuable political contributions. Congress has informed that CMP can be allotted Nenmara seat.
Kapan to get Pala, another one in Malabar
It is almost certain now that Nationalist Congress Kerala leader Mani C Kapan would be allotted a Pala seat. Though the party has also demanded Kayamkulam, Congress has rejected the demand. There is a possibility of the party getting one seat in Malabar. They have been assured that the party would be considered and treated as a UDF ally. The front leadership meeting taking place tomorrow will take a formal decision.
RSP demanded six seats, however, Congress is sticking to the five allotted to the party last time. There was no discussion on the matter on Monday.
Though Bharatiya National Janata Dal has demanded an Elathur seat, the Congress is not in favour of allotting the constituency Malampuzha is under consideration. If they manage to get the seat then party President John John will contest. Kerala Congress (Jacob) has sought one more seat apart from Piravom. The demand is unlikely to be accepted.
Meanwhile, in the LDF camp...
The seat-sharing talks in the ruling LDF are continuing even as the front leadership has decided to allot four seats each to Janata Dal (S) and Loktantrik Janata Dal.
Kovalam, Thiruvalla, Chittoor and Angamaly have been allotted to JD(S) while the Loktantrik Janata Dal gets Vadakara, Koothuparamba, Kalpetta. Another seat will be allotted to LJD in south Kerala. However, the decision on the constituency has not been taken yet.
NCP will get three seats. The LDF leadership has given assurance on Kottakkal. One of the seats - Minister A K Saseendran's sitting seat Elathur and Kuttanad from where Thomas Chandy got elected would be given to NCP. This makes it clear that the CPM might take over the Kuttanad seat.