CPM climbs down in Kerala

The crisis in the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala over the sharing of Lok Sabha seats began to subside...

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:March 14, 2009 11:00 pm

The crisis in the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala over the sharing of Lok Sabha seats began to subside on Friday after the CPI (M) beamed climb-down signals to the CPI and JD(S),which had threatened to walk out of the front over the big brother’s attempt to usurp their seats.

A final showdown of the CPI and JD(S),which would have wrecked the LDF,was averted after the central leaderships of the Left parties intervened for the sake of the newly-born Third Front. The CPI(M) admitted that Ponnani was a CPI seat and indicated that it would relook the JD(S) demand for its sitting seat Kozhikode.

In New Delhi,after meeting CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat,senior CPI leader D Raja said: “The issue has been resolved. I met Karat and he agreed that Ponnani was a CPI quota seat. The Kerala unit too has acknowledged it,” said Raja.

Earlier in the day,however,there were hectic parleys among the Left leaders. Though Karat tried to play down the issue pointing out that it was just a matter of one seat,he met senior party leader M K Pandhe and even had a telephonic conversation with CPI counterpart A B Bardhan. As discussions failed to resolve the deadlock,the CPI said it would field candidates in all CPI(M) constituencies,if it was not allowed to contest Ponnani.

“The CPI will not succumb to the CPI(M)’s bullying tactics. Come what may,we will contest from all LDF seats,except those allotted to the JD(S) and Kerala Congress (Joseph). The LDF has ceased to exist. If our seats are not given back,the CPI will have its way,” said party state secretary Veliyam Bharghavan.

But a sense of relief prevailed in the Left camp after Vijayan tried to defuse the tension. “The coalition is still safe. All outstanding issues will be sorted out through discussion. The CPI(M) has been treating the coalition partners with due respect. Our party has no intension to make any of its allies subservient,” said Vijayan. He added that the LDF had decided to field an Independent from Ponnani,occupied by IUML,and the CPI was also a party to that move.

Vijayan said Independent candidate Hussain Randathani was CPI’s choice. The CPI later approached ace Malayalam film director Kamal to contest from Ponnani as the Left-backed Independent.

(With ENS Delhi)

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