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Delhi talks satisfactory, list in a day or two: Vasan

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MARCH 30 . Senior Congress leaders today met the party president, Sonia Gandhi, after they discussed the imbroglio of selection of candidates for Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha constituencies.

The leaders, including Pranab Mukherjee, Manmohan Singh, Vayalar Ravi, Ahmed Patel and Oscar Fernandes, called on her after hearing the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) chief, G.K. Vasan, here.

Of the 10 seats allotted to the party in the Democratic Progressive Alliance, it has so far announced only two candidates - Mani Shankar Aiyar (Mayiladuturai) and R. Prabhu (Nilgiris). An announcement on the rest has been held up reportedly owing to differences between the TNCC and other factions.

There were reports that Mr. Vasan had differences with the AICC general secretary, Kamal Nath, in-charge of the party affairs in Tamil Nadu. Besides expressing resentment over the delay in finalisation of the candidates, party workers staged noisy demonstrations in both Delhi and Tamil Nadu protesting against the manner in which names were reportedly finalised.

Coming out the meeting, the AICC general secretary, Vayalar Ravi, expressed confidence that the matter would be ``sorted out amicably''. The names of candidates would possibly be announced by tomorrow, he said.

Mr. Vasan said the talks were satisfactory. The TNCC conveyed its views during the discussions. ``I am sure that within a day or two the final list of candidates will be announced.''

Meanwhile, party sources said, the former Union Minister and Congress Jananayaga Peravai leader, P. Chidambaram, agreed to contest on Congress symbol and be a member of the party in Parliament. He also gave the assurance that he would work for the Congress under the leadership of Ms. Gandhi and in Tamil Nadu for the success of the DPA. There were reports that the party was considering fielding him in Sivaganga.

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