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Political parties gear up for assembly polls

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Political parties gear up for assembly polls
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Thiruvananthapuram: With dates of state assembly polls expected to be announced in few days time, major political parties in Kerala are gearing up for the election with leaders engaged in discussions on finalising their list of candidates.

The process of giving finishing touch to candidates' list has speeded up in the Congress, the lead partner in the ruling United Democratic Front, with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala holding talks with district leaders.

The sub-committee of each district have given a list of candidates of their respective constituencies with more than six probable names to the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee.

KPCC wanted to finalise the list in a few days time and submit it to the party high command for approval, party sources here said.

Discussions with Front partners on seat sharing was also progressing.

The second largest partner in the ruling UDF, Indian Union Muslim League, which contested 24 seats last time, is likely to demand more seats this time.

Other constituents, Kerala Congress (M) and JD(U), which contested 15 and six seats in the last polls, have already demanded more seats.

RSP and KC-J, are the other two minor parties in the UDF.

Deliberations are also going on in full-swing in CPI-M, which heads the LDF opposition, in finalising the candidates.

Key discussion in the party is over the candidature of CPI-M veteran and state Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.

As per reports, the focus of debate is whether both 93-year-old Achuthanandan and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan should contest the polls and who should lead the Front campaign.

Party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, who attended the party secretariat held here yesterday, took stock of political situation in the state and discussed the issue of candidates.

District Committees of the party would meet again in the coming days and discuss on candidates.

Later, the suggestions of the district committees would be debated at the party state secretariat to be held on March 11 and 12, followed by state committee, party sources said, adding, "a final decision on list of candidates is expected by then."

CPI-M had contested 93 seats in the 2011 polls.

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