Thursday, March 5, 2009

Left divided over seat-sharing in Kerala

03 March , 2009

Thiruvananthapuram: Discontentment seems to be brewing in Kerala's ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) over seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, in which the alliance has decided to contest 18 of the total 20 seats.

In the 2004 elections, the CPI-M contested 14 seats, CPI four and JD-S and Kerala Congress (Joseph) contested one seat each.

LDF convenor Vaikom Viswam told reporters after a meeting of the Front here on Tuesday that the CPI-M would contest 13 seats, CPI three and Kerala Congress-Joseph one in the coming polls.

“The decision on Kozhikode and Wayanad seats will be finalised on Friday. It has also been decided that for the Ponani seat, it would be a Left-supported independent candidate with a different symbol,” Viswam said.

'Tough for CPI-M if Cong, Trinamool form alliance'

The Ponani seat has been with the CPI for long and the party was miffed by the decision of fielding an independent candidate.

“Who said we have given away the Ponani seat? The CPI will contest all the four seats we had contested in the last election,” said CPI state secretary Veliyam Bharghavan.

Another party that is upset is the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which had made strong efforts to get back the Kollam seat that the CPI-M took away from them in 1999.

“Our party state committee is meeting on Friday and we will consider all options, including withdrawing our minister in (chief minister) V S Achuthanandan's cabinet,” RSP state secretary V P Ramakrishna Pillai told reporters here.

The JD-S is also unhappy with the CPI-M, who are interested in the Kozhikode seat held by JD-S and in lieu give them the newly constituted Wayanad seat.

“A final decision will be made on Friday and we don't think we have made a foul start to the elections. It is through discussions that the LDF sorts out issues and there is no problem at all,” said Viswam.

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