KOTTAYAM: The stalemate in the UDF over sharing seats between Congress and Kerala Congress faction led by PJ Joseph is likely to be resolved with an over phone conversation between senior Congress leaders and P J Joseph on Sunday. According to sources, the Joseph faction will get 10 seats, including Changanassery, Ettumanoor and Kaduthuruthi constituencies, in Kottayam district.
Though Joseph is still sticking to his demand for the Moovattupuzha seat, by which he wants to ensure a sure seat for his aide Francis George, Congress is unlikely to accept the demand. Apart from three seats in Kottayam district, Joseph will get Thodupuzha, Idukki, Kuttanad, Tiruvalla, Kothamangalam, Irinjalakuda and Perambra. As per the present understanding between Congress and the Joseph faction, the latter will withdraw from their claims on Kanjirappally and Poonjar seats, where Congress will contest.
Meanwhile, Joseph continues to exert pressure on UDF leadership with his claim for 12 seats. Sources at Joseph’s camp said he would arrive at a settlement for 10 seats only if they get Moovattupuzha. However, Congress plans to field Joseph Vazhakkan, a close confidant of Ramesh Chennithala, or Mathew Kuzhalnadan, a nominee of KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran. “Whatever may be the final decision, the seat-sharing process will be concluded on Sunday,” said a Joseph faction leader.
Meanwhile, protests continue to brew among Congress workers in Kottayam for awarding Ettumanoor seat to Joseph. A section of Youth Congress workers under the aegis of Ettumanoor Block Youth Congress committee staged a sit-in protest in front of the Kottayam District Congress Committee (DCC) office on Saturday.
According to them, not only did the undivided KC(M) lose the previous two polls from Ettumanoor, but the Joseph faction has no influence here.However, Joseph camp countered the allegation pointing out their victory in Athirampuzha division of the Kottayam district panchayat in the previous local body elections.