CPI-M deputes Yechury to defuse Kerala crisis (Lead)

March 13th, 2009 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Moving swiftly to prevent a split within the ruling Left front in Kerala, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday deputed politburo member Sitaram Yechury to iron out differences with fuming partner Communist Party of India (CPI).
The CPI-M move came after the CPI gave an ultimatum to it in Kerala over the Ponnani seat, which it wants to contest. The CPI threatened to put up candidates in all the seats that ‘big brother’ CPI-M contests in Kerala in the Lok Sabha polls unless it got to fight from Ponnani.

The CPI-M, the leading partner in Kerala’s Left Democratic Front (LDF), asked Yechury to broker peace between Pinarayi Vijayan and Veliyam Bhargavan, state secretaries of the CPI-M and CPI respectively.

“The Kerala CPI-M is trying to avoid a split,” a CPI-M leader told IANS in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Vijayan said in Thiruvananthapuram that there was no problem in Left unity.

“Please don’t be worried. The CPI is with the LDF. Only when there is a change in their ideology, can things change,” Vijayan told reporters.

Vijayan’s comments came after Bharghavan ruled out further seat sharing talks with the CPI-M.

Bharghavan had told reporters in the morning, “We will meet on March 16 and if they don’t give us the Ponanni seat, we will put up our candidates in all seats, barring where the Kerala Congress (Joseph) is fighting and also where the Janata Dal-Secular is to get a seat.”

The Kerala Congress (Joseph) has been given the Idduki seat while the JD-S is tipped to get the Kozhikode seat.

Meanwhile, CPI-M-supported independent candidate Hussain Randathany has already begun the election campaign at Ponnani.

Speaking on the issue, Vijayan clarified that it was the CPI assistant secretary K.E. Ismail who gave the green signal for Randathany’s candidature as an independent.

Vijayan refuted Bharghavan’s statement that Randathany was his candidate.

“I have not at all seen him or spoken to him. We felt an independent candidate would be the best for Ponanni, which has been won by the Indian Union Muslim League (a part of the Congress-led United Democratic Front) for long. Initially the CPI agreed and then backed out,” said Vijayan.

The CPI has been insisting on putting up its candidates for the Thiruvananthapuram, Trichur, Mavelikara and Ponnani seats. While it was given the first three seats, talks over Ponnani failed.

In the 2004 election, the CPI-M contested 14 seats, the CPI four and the JD-S and the Kerala Congress (Joseph) contested one seat each.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Congress-S and the Nationalist Congress Party are also members of the ruling LDF that was formed in 1979.

Polls to the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala are to be held April 16.

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