Congress leaders from Kerala invited to Delhi for poll talks

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 18 (IANS) With the Congress in Kerala aiming to retain power, top leaders of the party’s state unit have been asked to reach Delhi to discuss preparations for the upcoming assembly polls.

“The national leadership has called Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and me to start the pre-poll discussions,” state Congress president V.M. Sudheeran told reporters here after a two-day meeting of the party leadership.

“The two-day meet concluded that there is a favourable trend towards the Chandy government that’s prevailing now. After the arrival here of our president Sonia Gandhi recently, there has been an all-round rejuvenation of the party. With this trend, we will be facing the polls unitedly, with no issues among ourselves,” said Sudheeran.

He said several suggestions were discussed on how to go about candidate selection and a final picture will emerge once they return from Delhi.

Assembly polls are set to be held soon, and the Congress-led UDF is aiming to create history by becoming the first government to retain power.

Asked if he would contest the elections, Sudheeran did not make any commitment.

He said a party-appointed committee that probed allegations about certain party members playing truant in the 2011 assembly polls and the recently held local body elections will be looked into when candidates are selected.

The state unit of the Congress earlier this month came under fire from party vice president Rahul Gandhi, who, at a mammoth party meeting, asked its top leaders to stop fighting among themselves.

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