Rival Kerala fronts to meet over Rajya Sabha seats

January 15th, 2009 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 15 (IANS) The ruling Left and the Congress-led opposition in Kerala could witness differences among their allies when they meet to decide on nominations to fill up three Rajya Sabha seats that fall vacant next month.The terms of Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, senior Congress leader Thennala Balakrishnan and Communist Party of India-Marxist leader K. Chandran Pillai end next month.

The seats are presently held by the leading parties - the Congress and the CPI-M.

According to the current composition of the Kerala legislature in the 140-member house, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has 98 members while the United Democratic Front (UDF) has 42.

With more seats in the assembly, it is a foregone conclusion that the LDF will romp home in two seats while the UDF will win one.

Allies of both the fronts are trying to bag the vacant seats.

“This is going to be part of the discussions when the LDF meets here tomorrow (Friday). It is too early to say which way the discussions would go,” pointed out a LDF leader who did not wish to be identified.

The Communist Party of India, Kerala Congress (Joseph), Janata Dal-Secular and even the Revolutionary Socialist Party - of the LDF - are likely to demand that one of the two seats be given to them, according to informed sources.

“The UDF is meeting here on the 19th and we will decide what needs to be done then,” said UDF leader Oommen Chandy.

From the UDF side too, allies like the Kerala Congress (Mani) who have lost out to the Congress in the past three occasions, are expected to make their demand for a seat.

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