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Kerala parties yet to finalise seat-sharing

Posted on Mar 05 2014 | IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, March 5 : With the dates for the Lok Sabha polls announced Wednesday, political parties in Kerala said they were yet to conclude talks with their allies on seat- sharing.

Kerala goes to the polls April 10 to elect 20 Lok Sabha members from the state.

In the 2009 polls, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) won 16 seats and the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) had to settle for just four. The Bharatiya Janata Party drew a blank.

The pattern of sharing the 20 seats has remained more or less the same. In the UDF, the Congress contests 17 seats, the Indian Union Muslim League 2 and the Kerala Congress (Mani) fights on one seat.

In the LDF, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is expected to contest 16 seats and the CPI four.

"We are certain we will soon finish the seat sharing talks with our allies," said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The CPI-M top brass is meeting March 5-6 and the number of seats they will contest will be clear after the meeting.

"By tomorrow evening (Thursday), we will be ready with our first list of candidates which would include possible renomination of the four sitting Lok Sabha members," a top CPI-M leader told IANS.

There could be a few known faces while two candidates could be women, he said.

The Congress will find it tough to select candidates as they have 13 sitting Lok Sabha members.

"Things are not going to be easy for the Congress because there is a long list of hopefuls and there are just a few seats if sitting MPs are going to be given their seats," said a senior Congress leader.

"Then comes the sharing of seats between women, youth and senior leaders and there are very few seats. Never in the past has candidate selection been a smooth affair and with just six weeks left, any delay in finalising would prove to be very costly," the leader said.

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