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Kerala Elections: UDF candidates’ list to be out by first week of April, says Chandy

The second largest partner in the ruling UDF, Indian Union Muslim League, which contested 24 seats last time, had already come out with list of candidates for 20 seats.

By: PTI | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: March 21, 2016 5:04:46 pm
Oommen Chandy, Kerala solar scam, Kerala polls, Keralal UDF, Saritha Nair, K M Mani, Kerala solar scam Oommen Chandy, kerala news, india news, latest news The state party leaders would be going to Delhi on March 28 to hold talks with the high command on election issues, Chandy said.

Congress, the lead partner in ruling United Democratic Front, has expedited the process of finalising its list of candidates for May 16 Assembly polls and is likely to announce the names by first week of April.

“Preparations are progressing in such a manner to declare the list of UDF candidates by first week of April,” Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is also the Chairman of Ruling Front, told PTI here on Sunday.

Congress election committee meeting to be held here tomorrow would finalise the list of party candidates.

However, the list would be released by party high command in Delhi, Chandy said. The state party leaders would be going to Delhi on March 28 to hold talks with the high command on election issues, he said.

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Besides Chandy, KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala are the other members in the Congress election committee.

Asked whether certain controversial decisions on land taken by the government would affect the prospects of UDF in the polls, Chandy said doubts on the issues have been cleared.

“Some of the decisions have been withdrawn and in other cases clear explanation has been given,” he said.

The government was under attack for its orders issued in the first week of this month which gave sanction to an Eco-Tourism project in 420 acres of land at ‘Methran kayal backwater’ paddy fields at Kumarakom village in Kottayam district and for super speciality medi city project in 47 acres of paddy land at Kadamakuddy in Kochi.

However, later the government revoked the two controversial orders that accorded sanction to two projects that required reclamation of ‘kayal backwaters’ and paddy fields.

On the charge that the government had excluded Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau matters related to top functionaries including the chief minister and ministers from the ambit of Right to Information Act, Chandy had yesterday stated that the allegations were “baseless”.

Meanwhile, discussions with Front partners on seat-sharing was also progressing, Front sources said.

The second largest partner in the ruling UDF, Indian Union Muslim League, which contested 24 seats last time, had already come out with list of candidates for 20 seats.

The party was expected to release the names of candidates for the rest of the seats in coming days.

Party leader and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty had said that the party was ready to release the list. “As such there is no hurdle in releasing the list,” he said.

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

Talks with these parties are in the final stages, sources said.

RSP and KC-J, are the other two minor parties in the UDF. Besides, the Front also has to accommodate a faction of CMP by providing a seat to its leader C P Johan.

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

However, the party has faced embarrassment with posters of protest coming up in constituencies against its move to field persons who were not active partymen like Cine actor K P A C Lalitha (Vadakancherry) media personality Veena George (Aranmula), Nikesh Kumar (Azhikode) and former Government Chief whip P C George (Poonjar), who was suspended from Kerala Congress (M), a partner in UDF, after he “questioned” the leadership of the party.

The LDF liaison committee meeting had decided to release its poll manifesto on April 5. The Front expects to complete its seat-sharing talks in the coming days.

The issue with LDF is that besides the Front partners CPI(M), CPI, JD (S), NCP, and Congress(S), it also has to accommodate nearly 10 small parties that the Front has decided to co-operate or associate with for the polls.

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