Pawar calls NCP's Kerala leaders to Delhi for reconciliation


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A few months ahead of the Kerala Assembly elections this year, Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar is set to play the role of a peacemaker next month between the warring factions of the party's state unit.

A party leader from Kerala said that he and other leaders had been asked to visit New Delhi on February 1 for conciliatory talks with the opposing faction as the two camps are headed for a virtual split over the allocation of Pala Assembly seat.

Former Union Minister Praful Patel will also participate in the meeting.

NCP leader and Pala MLA Mani C Kappan, who met Pawar in Mumbai along with party national Secretary Josemon, confirmed to IANS that he along with NCP state President TP Peethambaran, AK Saseendran and Josemon will meet Pawar and Patel on February 1.

Kappan claimed that that Kerala Transport Minister AK Saseendran did not have any clout within the party and that a recent meeting of his camp he held at his official residence was a "poor show" since only a handful of NCP workers and leaders were backing him.

The NCP leaders are engaged in a verbal duel as the ruling CPI-M is trying to take the Pala seat from the NCP and give it to the Kerala Congress-Mani, the latest entrant to the ruling Left Democratic Front.

The NCP says its nominee had defeated Kerala Congress-Mani candidate in Pala bypolls and thus there was no merit in "gifting" the seat to that party.

Kappan and Peethambaran, it was learnt, have already opened channels of communication with the rival United Democratic Front and got assurance that the opposition alliance will give the Pala seat to their faction.

If talks in Delhi between the two camps does not yield the desired results, the NCP would head for a vertical split.

Source: IANS

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