KOCHI: It was ‘love all’ after the first seat-sharing talks for the Lok Sabha polls by the UDF here on Tuesday with all the key constituents sticking to their demand for the seats while the Congress is not yielding an inch. The bilateral talks with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) will continue on March 1 at Kozhikode, while discussions with the Kerala Congress (M) will be held on March 3 at Kochi.
“Talks will continue,” IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty told reporters when asked whether the talks failed to achieve the breakthrough. He said this was only the first phase of the discussion and the talks would continue. Both the IUML and the Kerala Congress (M) stuck to its demand for three and two LS seats respectively.
“We are standing firm on our demand for two seats. We have informed our difficulties while the Congress cited their issues during the discussion. The talks will continue on March 3 here,” said KC (M) chairman K M Mani after the meeting. Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, Oommen Chandy and UDF convener Benny Behanan held talks with the leaders of the UDF constituents separately.
Chennithala said the bilateral talks were cordial and the UDF will face the election unitedly. “All the constituents in the UDF have the right and power to raise their demand for seats. We held the bilateral talks with the IUML first and then with KC(M). Both parties have demanded an additional seat each. Besides, Kerala Congress (Jacob) also demanded a seat and we have convinced them the difficulty to proceed with their demand,” he added.
Kollam LS seat has been allocated to the RSP. “That party will decide who will be fielded there,” said Chennithala. Talks were held with the CMP and the Forward Block too. According to him, the bilateral talks with the allies would be over by March 3. “KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran has called the meeting of the election committee of the party at Thiruvananthapuram on March 4,” he added.
However, Kerala Congress (Jacob) chairman Johny Nelloor said, Congress leaders informed they will take a final call after having talks with their leaders. “We raised our demand for Idukki seat. We hope the discussion will continue and we demanded the seat considering the winnability,” he said.
CMP leader C P John said his party will raise the demand for a Rajya Sabha seat. “We will extend all support to the UDF candidates in the upcoming LS polls. As a constituent in the UDF for the past three decades, we will demand an RS seat and more seats in the next Assembly election,” he said.