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RSP as ally comes with a price for Cong-led UDF

Reflecting views of a section of Congress leaders, former party state chief K Muraleedharan said he was against RSP in the UDF.

The Congress in Kerala will admit the Revolutionary Socialist Party as a new ally of the United Democratic Front (UDF) for the Lok Sabha polls. The RSP had snapped its 34-year-long ties with CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) over denial of Kollam seat to contest in the Lok Sabha polls.

RSP, which has two MLAs, would help the ruling Congress increase its numbers in the Legislative Assembly, but the Congress will have to cede Kollam seat, which it won the last time, to the RSP.

Besides, the Congress-led UDF has to accommodate Socialist Janata Democratic (SJD), a breakaway faction of the Janata Dal (Secular) which left the LDF during the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 in protest against denial of its lone seat. The Congress has decided to give up Palakkad seat for SJD.

The UDF has three other Left rebel groups Communist Marxist Party (CMP), Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithi and RSP(B), which has announced plans to merge with RSP.

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Reflecting views of a section of Congress leaders, former party state chief K Muraleedharan said he was against RSP in the UDF. “But I would go by the party decision. If RSP contests in Kollam, its candidate, if elected, has to stand by the decision of the party (Congress) national leadership.’’

Muraleedharan said the Congress was ready to consider NCP or JD(S) as potential UDF allies in the state.

UDF partner Kerala Congress (Mani) is demanding a second LS seat on the ground that its base increased after LDF partner Kerala Congress (Joseph) merged with Congress (Mani). Raising the “anti-farmer approach’’ of the Congress in the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats, the Joseph faction regrouped within the front demanding Idukki seat, another seat Congress won the last general elections.

First published on: 11-03-2014 at 02:05:55 am
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