UDF talks fail to make headway

The League will contest 20 seats and announced its candidates, except for four.

Thiruvananthapuram: The seat-sharing talks between the Congress and its allies, the Muslim League, KC (M) and JD(U), have not reached anywhere with each party sticking to its respective positions. The Muslim League has refused to part with Thiruvampady as demanded by the High Range Development Society patronised by the Catholic Church.

Muslim League leader P. K. Kunhalikutty has ruled out any more talks on Thiruvampady. The League will contest 20 seats and announced its candidates, except for four. The League would hold further talks with the Congress only after it completes the discussions with KC (M) and KC (Jacob) as they have been demanding to swap seats.

Mr Kunhalikutty told reporters that a final decision would be taken in two days. The Muslim League had announced Mr V. M. Ummer as the candidate in Thiruvampady. Its national spokesman and Lok Sabha MP E. T. Mohammed Basheer had said the other day that there was no need to change the candidate in Thiruvampady.

The KC (M) too had staked its claim to the seat much to the discomfiture of the Congress. The Thamarassery diocese was keen on a candidate to protect the interests of the local farmers. The JD(U) has also not relented on its demand to swap Nemom, Mattannur and Alathur seats. With the Congress not willing to part with Kayamkulam, the JD(U) has demanded Karunagapally. A final decision may be taken on Wednesday.

The talks with KC (J) also did not make any progress. In an interview to a television channel, KC (J) chairman Johnny Nelloor broke down saying he had achieved much in the last five decades in politics, and wished to contest from Angamaly which the Congress has refused.

There are reports that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is keen to get Ms Daisy Jacob, wife of the late T. M. Jacob, in the fray in Perumbavoor as KC(J) candidate because there is a sizeable Jacobite population.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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