Thursday, March 5, 2009

In Kerala, CPM bullies allies into submission

4 Mar 2009, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Parties usually enter into political contracts for mutually beneficial reasons. But CPM allies, it appears, are duty bound to swell the kitty of the Big Brother even at the cost of their marginalisation.

CPI has once again realised this to its dismay in Kerala when it was forced to surrender a Lok Sabha seat, that it has been contesting for the past four elections, to CPM. The Marxist party had earlier announced that an independent will fight the seat, Ponnani, held by IUML’s E Ahamed. The CPI’s plea to field an independent candidate on its symbol was rejected at the LDF co-ordination meeting.

The party will now have to make do with just three constituencies, including Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur which it represents. Adoor, the third CPI seat, disappeared in the delimitation process but CPM has allotted neighbouring Mavelikkara to it.

The other CPM ally that has lost out is RSP. The party made some threatening noises about pulling out its minister from the V S Achuthanandan government if the CPM did not agree to part with the Kollam seat. The seat was taken away by CPM in 2004. The RSP at present does not have any Lok Sabha seat in the state.

JD(S) MP Veerendra Kumar may also have to part with Kozhikode and settle down for Wyanad. The CPM, which is claiming the Kozhikode seat, tried to convince JD(S) to fight the newly-carved out Wyanad constituency. Seat sharing talks are likely to resume on Wednesday.

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