A day after the RSP walked out of the Left Front in Kerala, the CPI central leadership on Sunday asked ally CPM to be accommodative to keep the alliance intact. The CPI leadership felt the break in alliance in Kerala will have ramifications at the national level, where the four Left parties have been functioning as a bloc for some years.
RSP left the Left Front after the CPM turned down its demand for the Kollam Lok Sabha seat. The party has already decided to field former minister N K Premachandran from the seat.
The CPI’s intervention, however, came too late in the day as the RSP leaders met top Congress leaders in Kerala for an electoral tie-up and a possible entry into the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF). The Congress leadership agreed to support the RSP nominee in Kollam seat, disregarding the protest from a section of party leaders. The Congress is ready to abandon its sitting seat of Kollam for RSP, which will bring in two legislators to the ruling side.
The CPM has announced the candidature of its politburo member M A Baby from Kollam. Sources in Delhi said CPI veteran A B Bardhan spoke to CPM general secretary Prakash Karat asking him to step in to prevent the break in the alliance. CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy followed it up with a letter to Karat.
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CPM general secretary Prakash Karat on Sunday criticised Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK for “unilaterally” breaking off its alliance with the Left front in Tamil Nadu.
Speaking at Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu, he said there could be no credible alternative to the BJP and Congress without the Left parties and added the Left parties will “unitedly fight the elections together against neo liberal policies, communalism and corruption.” He said the AIADMK had joined the anti communal convention of non-Congress secular parties last October and it subsequently declared its alliance with the Left parties for the Lok Sabha polls. ENS
“The rift between RSP and CPM in Kerala which led to RSP walking out of LDF and deciding to contest in Kollam constituency with the support of UDF is a matter of serious concern. We will find it difficult to explain it not only at state level but also at national level. We hope that resourcefulness in accommodation is shown to keep the LDF intact and break does not take place. We also wish that all efforts should be made to bring back RSP into LDF,” Reddy wrote to Karat.
“The CPM has realised our strength after we quit the LDF. But we would not go back to their fold,” said RSP state secretary A A Aziz.
This came on a day another CPM ally, JD(S), threatened to go alone if not allotted a seat.
With the CPM deciding to contest 16 seats and the CPI in four, there’s little for RSP and JD(S). While RSP has only two legislators in the assembly, JD(S) has four. JD(S) leader Mathew T Thomas on Sunday said his party has every right to get its due share of seat in the elections. “We condemn the manner the CPM and the CPI shared the seats among themselves. We have no plan to quit the LDF, but are looking into the plan of contesting alone. We are eligible to get a seat in the LDF,” said Thomas.