No discussions held with United Democratic Front over Pala Assembly seat
On a day when the Kerala Congress (M) [KC(M)] led by Jose K. Mani announced its decision to join the Left Democratic Front (LDF), Mani C. Kappan, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator from Pala, extended a wholehearted welcome to the regional party.
Addressing media persons here on Wednesday, Mr. Kappan sought to dismiss rumours about him holding any discussions with the United Democratic Front (UDF) in view of Mr. Mani’s entry into the left coalition. The ongoing discussions over the Pala seat were hypothetical as Mr. Mani himself had clarified that the KC(M)’s decision was unconditional.
“The NCP’s position has been consistent with the LDF and my victory in Pala was the collective effort of the coalition workers,” Mr. Kappan said.
Following reports that Mr. Mani demanded the Pala seat during the informal consultations with the LDF, Mr. Kappan had earlier responded that there was no question of giving up the seat to any one and for anything, even for a Rajya Sabha seat. While his position vis-a-vis the Pala seat still remained, it appears to have been tempered on an intervention by the LDF.
Mr. Kappan, who had unsuccessfully contested in Pala against K.M. Mani for three times on a trot, rode on his popularity in the region and the raging factional fight within the KC(M) to emerge victorious during the byelection last year. The election had been necessitated by the death of Mani on April 9 the same year.
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