Congress wants Poonjar or Kuttanad, KC(M) refuses both; KC(Jacob) adamant on Angamaly
The talks held by the Congress, separately, with the Kerala Congress (M) [KC(M)] and the Kerala Congress (Jacob) [KC(Jacob)] on Monday ended in an impasse with all parties sticking to their respective positions regarding sharing of seats for the May 16 Assembly election.
The leaders got entangled in some hard bargaining, with Congress leaders Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala, and V.M. Sudheeran angling for either Poonjar or Kuttanad and the Kerala Congress (M) leaders K.M. Mani and P.J. Joseph insisting on additional seats over and above the 15 their party contested in 2011. At one point of time, the KC(M) was willing to settle for an additional one seat, provided the party was allotted one in south Kerala in lieu of Perambra in north Kerala that the party contested last time.
The Congress leaders refused to budge, maintaining that the KC(M) demand for additional seats cannot be justified in the contest of the depletion in its ranks after the departure of Francis George and his supporters.
Later, Mr. Mani said Poonjar and Kuttanad were like the “heart and soul” of his party and there was no question of conceding the seats. There are indications that the KC(M) might settle for a deal if Punalur is offered to them in place of Perambra.
The KC(Jacob) has not yet succeeded in holding on to Angamaly. The Congress leaders have refused to concede the seat because they feel that their party has a better chance of winning back the constituency, once considered a safe Congress seat.
The KC(Jacob) is desperate for a seat to accommodate its chairman Johny Nelloor, who, despite the goodwill he has within the United Democratic Front, has been frustrated by the attitude of the Congress.