After a two-day Central Committee meeting,the CPI(M) on Sunday declared a list of 59 candidates for 16 states,but could not finalise candidates for crucial states like Kerala,Tamil Nadu,Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka pointing out that seat-sharing talks with allies were still on.
Talking to reporters,CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat acknowledged that the party was expecting a tough electoral battle in its strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala. Internal problems will not affect our performance. Externally,we face a tough fight but we are confidant of surmounting it, he added.
Sources said the meeting decided that there was no question of succumbing to the CPIs demand to field an Independent candidate backed by it in Ponnani seat of Kerala. The candidate should be a Left Independent and not a CPI Independent, said a CPI(M) leader. The party also decided not to give the Kozhikode seat to the JD(S),which wants its sitting MP Veerendra Kumar to contest again. The CPI(M) wants the JD(S) leader to shift to the adjacent Wayanad seat.
The seat-sharing in Tamil Nadu was also discussed by the committee. The party is watching which way the actor-turned-politician Vijaykants party would go before finalising seat-sharing with the AIADMK. The party also discussed Jayalalithaas reported overtures to the Congress,but Karat was of the opinion that the AIADMK chief was not trying to woo the Congress.
The West Bengal unit has informed the central committee that they would be facing a tough battle in half of the 42 seats in the state following the alliance between the Congress and Mamata Banerjees Trinamool Congress,sources said. The party,however,felt they would be able to overcome the challenge,as national and not local issues would dominate the polls. At the same time,it was felt that the party would have to mobilise its cadres in a big way to meet the challenge.
Karat said BSP chief Mayawati was very much in favour of a non-Congress,non-BJP government at the Centre,though she was against any pre-poll seat-sharing.
The list released on Sunday includes 17 sitting MPs and features only three women.