Thiruvananthapuram: Congress state president VM Sudheeran said he would soon resolve the seat sharing issue with the party's alliance partners before the Lok Sabha elections.
In the United Democratic Front (UDF) it leads, the Congress has a major share of 17 seats, followed by the Indian Union Muslim League with two, and the Kerala Congress (Mani) one.
Now with both the allies demanding an extra seat each and the Socialist Janata Dal joining the alliance, which also has claimed a seat, the Congress' first task is to settle the Lok Sabha seat sharing issue.
After a meeting here Thursday, Sudheeran said: "We have to first sort out the distribution of seats with the allies..."
With the Congress having 13 sitting Lok Sabha members, who include five ministers, the state president has a tough job ahead. If he decides to re-nominate all sitting members to contest the polls, only four seats would be left for the party's allies.
The newly appointed state Congress chief would face this first challenge at the time of handing over the list of probable Lok Sabha candidates to the party national leadership.
"With the national leadership clearly indicating that the selection would be based on merits alone..., Sudheeran has a daunting task as there is a mad rush among hopefuls...," said a senior party leader who declined to be named.
On the issue of the party's unity, Sudheeran said: "Yes..., there is a general feeling that it's time for all to fall in line and I am sure all will abide by this direction...."
He said there would be strict guidelines for all, including party ministers and office-bearers.