Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Malappuram: Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second biggest ally in the UDF, is aiming at upto 30 seats in the upcoming assembly polls. The party had contested in 24 seats last time and won 19 of them. They have demanded 6 more seats in the upcoming election.
IUML started demanding more seats after Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) and Kerala Congress Jose K Mani faction left UDF. About 14 seats will remain vacant as the two parties left the front. Most of them are likely to be shared between IUML and Congress. Unofficial meetings in this regard are progressing.
In 2016 assembly polls, Kerala Congress (M) had contested in 15 seats and LJD in 7 seats. Among these 22 seats, 8 will need to be given to the P J Joseph faction this time. Both Congress and IUML are eyeing the remaining 14 seats. Besides, other allies like RSP, Kerala Congress Jacob faction and Forward Block have also expressed interest in the seats.
IUML is confident as they have won seats even when the political situations were unfavourable for UDF. They claimed that they can win the additional seats given to them. Also Congress and other allies do not have any difference of opinion in the fact that IUML deserves more number of seats.
Though Muslim League is focusing on seats in Malabar area, the party thinks that it should not be confined to the north and want its presence felt in central and south Kerala too. So, the IUML has expressed interest in Kazhakkoottam seat in Thiruvananthapuram and Poonjar and Kanjirappally seats in Kottayam. IUML had earlier contested from Kanjirappally and Kazhakkoottam seats.
IUML also has pressure from the Youth League for getting more seats. Youth League had convinced the leaders that the party deserves upto 28-30 seats even before Jose K Mani faction left the front. They also presented a formula in which 25 percent of the seats are offered to youngsters in the party.