Cracks surfaced in the ‘alternative front’ of parties with an alliance between two key constituents, the Left Front and Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK, ending in Tamil Nadu after failing to agree on seats. It was the Left that called it off.
“Several rounds of talks were not fruitful. Also, the AIADMK unilaterally announced its candidates. Hence, the two communist parties have decided to contest the election together,” said a statement issued by CPM and CPI state secretaries G Ramakrishnan and D Pandian.
At one stage, the CPI’s A B Bardhan had been among the first leaders outside the state to endorse Jaya as a potential PM candidate, saying it was possible if the combine managed to win most seats from Tamil Nadu (39) and Puducherry UT.
But the AIADMK was willing to give the two only one seat each. The clearest sign of parting of ways came when Jaya began seeking votes for all 40 of her candidates over the past couple of days.
Sources say the AIADMK is no longer interested in continuing in a third front bandwagon that has too many PM aspirants without necessary cohesion. This has also caused concerns in the Left camps that she could back the BJP after the polls.
The CPI(M)’s central leadership said it hopes to combine with other parties after the polls. “The permutations and combinations will emerge only after the elections. Before polls, such fluidity will continue. We don’t hold anything against the AIADMK. It is only trying to maximise its electoral strength. We are in contact with them for a loose all-India alternative and will continue to be so,” a senior CPM leader said.
Sources in the DMK said, the Left’s local leadership has approached them, and that they said it was too late for any alliance. The Left parties have denied it.