Amidst a hardening of stance by Mani C. Kappen, MLA, over Pala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday attended a meeting at the CPI(M) District Committee office in Kottayam to take stock of the situation.
Official sources said the party leaders had briefed the Chief Minister about the prevailing situation in Pala and the complaints raised by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction that backs Mr.Kappan.
The meeting on Monday also preceded a proposed discussion between the NCP leader Praful Patel and Mr. Pinarayi to iron out the differences over the seat’s allocation.
As to whether this meeting will take place anytime soon is yet to be known as Mr.Vijayan is learnt to have adopted an uncompromising stance towards Mr.Kappen’s claim .
Among the issues that came up for the discussion on Monday also included a proposed allocation of the Kanjirappally segment to the Kerala Congress (M) led by Jose K. Mani and the possibility of handing over the Poonjar or Changanassery seat to the CPI instead.
With the LDF most likely to allot Pala to the KC(M), Mr.Kappan is counting on contesting from the assembly segment as a candidate of the United Democratic Front.
Speculation is rife about him joining the UDF camp by the time the Statewide rally led by Ramesh Chennithala enters Kottayam on February 14.
“Dejected by the LDF’s mistreatment, Mr.Kappen has also sought to meet the NCP national leadership once again before deciding on his further course of action. Prior to the meeting, he has also sent a letter to the NCP president Sharad Pawar briefing him about the recent developments including the CM’s alleged denial of an appointment to Mr.Patel to discuss the issue,” said an NCP leader.
Following a meeting with the NCP national leaders including Mr.Pawar, the NCP State leadership has sought to play down the tussle over Pala for the time being. Mr.Kappan, however, has been unrelenting and kept asserting his claim over the seat time and again.
“Pala is still my heart. Nobody has asked me to hand over the seat. I will contest from here,” he had told reporters the other day.