THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The tardy pace of the seat-sharing talks in the UDF is all set to give way to a fresh momentum by Saturday, side by side the proposed shortlisting of Congress candidates on that day.
Barring Kerala Congress M), talks have been slated with the JD(U), KC(Jacob) and RSP in the weekend, even as the Congress is assertive on its own terms.
A final picture of the poll map for the ruling front is expected to emerge by Monday. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC president V M Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala are scheduled to hold consultations on Saturday morning, and come up with a short list of candidates for various segments. The state congress election panel will go through the short list in the evening and with addition or deletions, the final short list carrying a minimum number of choices for constituencies identified for the party will be forwarded to the AICC screening committee.
The AICC screening panel will hold a sitting on Monday.The talks with KC(M) are slated for Monday. There are indications that while the KC(M) has more or less become reconciled to remain content with the 15 seats it had contested in the last polls, the demand for at least a seat is being pursued. Indications are that the KC(M) is wary of the Congress, on reports that the leading partner may even raise the demand of slashing of a seat or two, or look at the scope of exchanging traditionally contested seats in Central Travancore by the former, with segments in other districts.The IUML is keenly awaiting a response from the Congress on the suggestion to swap Kunnamangalam and Balussery (SC) seats in Kozhikode district, as the party is eager to field former MLA U C Raman in the reserved segment. In exchange of the surrendered Eravipuram, the IUML has been allotted Chadayamangalam in the same
Constituents, Claims and clamour
Kerala Congress(Jacob) will be offered a second seat, in lieu of Angamaly. But it may not cut ice with the party as chairman Johny Nellore is adamant to secure the Angamaly seat he had lost in the last polls. The RSP is being offered Mavelikkara (SC) now, in addition to Chavara, Eravipuram and Kunnathur (SC). However, party sources said that there was no question of picking up a second reserved segment, as it would be politically suicidal from the point of view of retaining its targeted support base. For the fifth seat, Vamanapuram, Punalur or Ranni is demanded. JD(U) is pinning all hopes to secure Kayamkulam, in addition to Vamanapuram or Kovalam in lieu of the Nemom seat in the capital district. The party has been allotted seven seats, out of which, only Koothuparamba, Kalpetta and Vadakara have been stamped so far. Ambalappuzha has been offered, but the JD(U) leadership has not responded positively.