Multiplicity of candidates poses problems for UDF

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, SEP. 2. Senior leaders of the UDF today spent a hectic day trying to sort out the seat sharing problems related to the local bodies elections. The seat sharing talks had fallen behind schedule mainly because of the confusion in the Congress(I), which itself was a consequence of the factional feud.

The UDF partners have not been able to agree on the number of seats to be allotted to each, with the smaller parties sore at being given the short shrift in some of the panchayat constituencies. As a result of the UDF committees' failure to wrap up the seat sharing in many wards, almost all parties have filed nominations.

Even in the Congress, there were disputes regarding allocation of seats, leading to filing of more than one nomination. The Congress(I) leadership had made it clear that all problems should be sorted out at the local level itself.

The KPCC(I) announced a three tier mechanism to resolve all problems, with a State level committee authorised to sort out all residual problems. Contrary to expectations, the Karunakaran group does not seem to have taken recourse to fielding rebel candidates.

Efforts have been made to ensure all groups are accommodated in the hustings. with more than 16,000 wards to be contested, it was natural to have problems. Senior leaders did not mind using all kinds of tactics to get their reticent workers to withdraw from the field. These ranged from friendly advice to coaxing and cajoling to withdraw nominations to even outright threat with disciplinary action. The KPCC(I) had made it very clear that it would take disciplinary action against rebel candidates.

A clear picture about the contests would emerge only after September 4, the last day for withdrawal of nominations. Till then, the UDF partners would get sufficient time to hold dialogues to sort out the problems.

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