Battle over Pala heats up much ahead of elections

Kappan plans rally across the Assembly constituency

Even though leading coalitions have kick started the seat-sharing talks, the battle for Pala is beginning to heat up much ahead of the elections once again.

Amidst reports of a purported move by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) to hand over the Assembly seat to the Kerala Congress (M) led by Jose K. Mani, the sitting legislator Mani C. Kappan plans a fight back with a carefully arranged display of belligerence. Accordingly, he will soon be taking up a rally across the constituency to highlight the development initiatives taken up over the last 15 months since the byelection in 2019.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader will be using the event as a platform to interact directly with the voters, collecting their feedback on the projects to be implemented while addressing their complaints. The event, which is slated to begin at Thalanad on February 10, will conclude at Pala two weeks later.

Despite the claim that the rally will be organised with the support of all constituents in the LDF, the coalition appears non-committal on the programme. The NCP faction that supports Mr. Kappan, however, is keen on making the event a success and has decided to constitute a squad committee for coordinating it.

“Whether the LDF will be part of the rally or not will be known after a meeting between the NCP leaders, including A.K. Saseendran, Mr. Kappan and T.P. Peethambaran, with the party president Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on February 3. If Mr. Kappan refuses to compromise on his stance over Pala, the LDF will stay away from it,” said an LDF leader.

Official sources said among the options available for a settlement included a Rajya Sabha seat with a full term of six years or an Assembly seat for Mr. Kappan.

Meanwhile, the KC(M) on Saturday kicked off its election works in Pala with an event marking the 88th birth anniversary of the late Kerala Congress (M) leader, K.M. Mani. Power Minister M.M. Mani inaugurated the event.

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