Special Correspondent

Congress offers only 15 seats, whereas DIC(K) seeks 25; compromise on symbol issue

Thiruvananthapuram: Talks between Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) leaders and the Congress Working Committee member Veerappa Moily have hit another roadblock over the number of seats that the former would be allotted as part of seat adjustments.

Both the parties are, however, willing to compromise on the symbol issue.

The Congress maintained that it would allot only 15 seats, but would not insist on the DIC(K) contesting on the `hand' symbol of the former. The DIC(K) said it wanted 25 seats, but was not particular about contesting on its symbol, television.

The talks were held at the residence of the former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, in the presence of the senior leader and the other DIC(K) leaders K. Muraleedharan and T.M. Jacob, and the Indian Union Muslim League leaders E.T. Mohammed Basheer and P.K. Kunhalikutty. DIC(K) sources pointed out that even if the two parties were able to arrive at a consensus with regard to the contest under the `hand' symbol, there were several technicalities that needed to be sorted out.

Sources said it would not be possible for the DIC(K) candidates to mention in the nomination form that they belonged to the DIC(K), but would prefer the `hand' symbol. The other alternative was for the candidates to contest as Congress nominees under the `hand' symbol. But this would be as good as announcing a merger. Mr. Moily said there was progress in the talks and a final decision would be taken in a few days.

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