Thiruvananthapuram: In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the three Kerala Congress factions are stepping up their pressure for three seats. At the beginning of the seat sharing negotiations of UDF here, Kerala Congress-Jacob demanded Idukki constituency. Promptly came Kerala Congress-M demand for two seats.
Muslim League did not ask for more than its existing two seats, and it was agreed that the party would hold bilateral discussions regarding seats. The meeting also reached the consensus that if a Congress-led government comes into office, the front would demand special legislation on Sabarimala.
The Kerala Congress-Jacob demand for Idukki was raised by party chairma Johnny Nellore who also complained that having stayed with Mani for years, they were not given due consideration. He also pointed out that one party that had contested as part of UDF is no longer in the front now, and that seat should be given to KC-J. But that does not mean they wanted that seat of Palakkad, instead the demand was for Idukki.
With this Kerala Congress-M Working chairman PJ Joseph came up asking for two seats. Although the requested seats were not mentioned, the party had in mind two constituencies out of the three: Kottayam, Idukki and Chalakkudi. The talks also heard the suggestion from participants that the demands and complaints of each constituent party should be discussed in detail. Accordingly, it was decided to have separate bilateral discussions.
Muslim League had earlier raised a demand for one additional seat, but did not raise it at the meeting. Party cirlces explain that such a demand would be raised at the level of bilateral discussions.