IUML gives up 3rd seat, demand for Rajya Sabha slot

IUML leader PK Kunhalikutty said the talks were positive and the party would make a final announcement on February 27.
PK Kunhalikutty.
PK Kunhalikutty.(File Photo)

KOCHI: After striking an aggressive posture, under pressure from its rank and file, the IUML on Sunday reportedly toned down its demand for a third seat in the upcoming general elections, instead telling the Congress that an extra Rajya Sabha seat would suffice.

The Congress leadership, at a bilateral meeting in Aluva, convinced League leaders of its inability to part with a Lok Sabha seat. The party, however, agreed to accommodate the IUML’s demand for an RS seat.

Leaders of both parties termed the discussions “satisfactory”, but refused to divulge details. IUML leader PK Kunhalikutty said the talks were positive and the party would make a final announcement on February 27.  

“Party state president Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal is currently out of the country, and will be back on Monday. Senior leaders will meet him on Tuesday and take a final decision. The decision will be announced the same day,” Kunhalikutty told reporters after the meeting. Asked about League’s demand for an RS seat, he said several points were discussed, but refused to reveal any details.

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said both parties were satisfied with the discussions. “The talks were successful and positive,” Satheesan said. 

No assurance given to IUML: Sudhakaran

The term of three members of the Upper House from the state will expire in July, and the numbers in assembly allows UDF to claim one seat.

KPCC president K Sudhakaran said the Congress national leadership’s permission is needed to give RS seat to the IUML. The Congress has not given any assurance to the IUML in this regard, he added. Senior League leader E T Mohammed Basheer MP, M K Muneer MLA, and IUML state general secretary P M A Salam also took part in the talks.

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