UDF seat-sharing talks inconclusive

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More talks in Kozhikode on March 1, Ernakulam on March 3

With some of the partners in the United Democratic Front (UDF) sticking firmly to their demand for more seats, the first round of seat-sharing talks of the Opposition front ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections has remained inconclusive. But Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, who spoke to the press after day-long talks at the Ernakulam Guest House on Tuesday, said the talks were friendly and peaceful.

“It is their right to demand more seats. But the Congress has explained its position, given the importance of the elections,” said Mr. Chennithala. Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and UDF convener Benny Behanan were among those who led the Congress party’s talks with the UDF partners.

He said the Kollam seat was being given to the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which will decide the candidate for the seat.

Mr. Chennithala said both the Indian Union Muslim League and Kerala Congress (M) had demanded one more seat each. The KC(M) demand will be discussed on March 3 in Ernakulam, while the IUML demand will be addressed at the Kozhikode meeting on March 1. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran will be present in both the discussions.

The IUML was represented by P.K. Kunhalikutty, MP, K.P.A. Majeed and M.K. Muneer. Mr. Kunhalikutty said at the end of their meeting that Tuesday’s was only a preliminary round of discussion and the issues raised at the meeting would be discussed more elaborately.

K.M. Mani, Jose K. Mani, MP, and P. J. Joseph participated in the talks for the KC(M). Johny Nelloor of the Kerala Congress (Jacob) said his party had demanded the Idukki seat. C.P. John of the CMP participated.

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