Fresh trouble for ruling coalition in Kerala

Fresh trouble for ruling coalition in Kerala

Even as uncertainty over the Congress party’s list of candidates for the May 16 Assembly election continued despite marathon discussions in New Delhi, fresh trouble for the ruling coalition emerged home with an alliance partner alleging a snub on seat allocation.

Kerala Congress (Jacob) chairman Johny Nelloor said on Friday that the Congress’ decision to take away one of the seats allocated to the party in 2011, amounted to “betrayal”.

The party is likely to convey its disappointment formally to the United Democratic Front (UDF) leadership. Nelloor told reporters that the Congress had “cheated” his party.

The accusation comes in the wake of the decision to take Angamaly—where Nelloor contested in 2011 and lost—away from the party.

The KC(J) has been allocated only one seat, Piravom, where sitting MLA and minister Anoop Jacob will contest. When asked by reporters about possibilities of moving to the Opposition Left front, Nelloor said no one was “untouchable” in politics.

Party troubles
The trouble with KC(J) is only one of the worries for the Congress; discussions on seat-sharing with some of the coalition partners, including JD(U) and Kerala Congress (Mani), have not made much progress.

The UDF leadership has its task cut out as the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the BJP have already released names of most of their candidates.

Impasse over candidates continues
The Congress leadership has failed to break the deadlock over its own list of candidates.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V M Sudheeran’s reported contention that scam-hit legislators, including K Babu, Excise Minister and a loyalist of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy—should not be fielded has triggered a row with the chief minister’s camp.

Intervention by the party’s high command has not translated to a breakthrough in discussions underway in the national capital.

The leaders are debating on candidature in about 25 constituencies.

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