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    Faction feud holds TN Congress list release

    Chennai: Even after several rounds of negotiations on Tuesday, the Congress high command cou­ld not finalise the list of candidates for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, as serious differences prevailed over who should be nominated in about 20 constituencies.According to sources in the TNCC, the intense factional fight for a better share of sea­ts is at the centre of the imbroglio. The list of candidates recommended by the screening committee led by Vayalar Ravi was reworked and presented on Tuesday as per the diktat of party president Sonia Gandhi. However, the issue still stood unresolved."All 34 sitting MLAs want to be renominated. Already, nine seats have been given to the Youth Congress-and it's likely to get one more. Mahila and Seva Dals are left. Totally, there are 100 serious contenders now (new faces) from all groups. Do you think finalising the list is an easy job?" an AICC office-bearer asked.A section of state Congress leaders faulted TNCC chief K V Thangkabalu for trying to "gobble up" a share of seats that was disproportionate to his following in the party.Sitting MPs including J M Haroon, S S Ramasubbu and K S Alagiri urged party top leaders to further "filter the list" as it had several "undeserving" names. Leaders including the party's national spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan met Sonia's political secretary Ahmed Patel and Ravi to demand "equitable" distribution of seats.Also, party workers led by K Ramalinga Jothi, a state party functionary, presented a memorandum to Ravi, Patel and Oscar Ferna­ndes, with the backing of senior Congre­ss workers like R Jayachandran (who contested against CM M Karunanidhi at Anna Nagar in 1977) and Pattukottai Rajendran who has held several party posts.Thangkabalu returned to Chennai to take part in a public meeting at Tiruvarur where ally DMK was set to kick off its campaign on Wednesday.