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Rahul Gandhi begins Kerala visit, meets Cong and IUML leaders

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 27 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday landed at the Kozhikode airport to begin his two-day visit to Kerala, and held closed-door meetings with Congress and IUML leaders.

These included former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala, M Ramachandran, and Indian Union Muslim League leaders PK Kunhalikutty and KPA Majeed.

With Assembly elections around the bend, various political parties are doing their home work to finalise seat-sharing with coalition partners.

Rahul Gandhi has been insisting on promotion of new faces and women leaders in the elections to the 140-member Assembly. The state Youth Congress leadership has already submitted a list of probable candidates from among its leaders and openly demanded that they be given a fair proportion of tickets.

Rahul Gandhi, a member of Parliament from Wayanad, will participate in a few functions regarding his MP Local Area Development Schemes in the constituency during his visit.

The former AICC President has been discussing with Muslim League leaders the seat-sharing within the United Democratic Front.

KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran told IANS: “Rahul Gandhi has met with IUML leaders as this party is a major constituent of the UDF coalition. The Congress-IUML relations are very cordial. As far as seat-sharing is concerned, we are yet to mull the finer details and are holding broader discussions only at present.”

The Congress has already inducted former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor into the Manifesto Committee, sending out a clear message that he will have a major say in the UDF campaign and even during government formation in case the UDF returns to power.

Both Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi will remain in the coastal state during the entire campaigning period since, Congress sources said, they will be major trump cards for the party.




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