Kerala’s Left Front impasse over seat sharing continues

March 17th, 2009 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, March 17 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is stitching a Third Front at the national level, yet in its own bastion of Kerala it was not able to resolve the seat sharing deadlock with traditional allies till Tuesday.
A day after Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), member of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), asked its lone minister to resign from the state cabinet, the CPI-M and the Communist Party of India (CPI) held one-on-one talks to resolve the impasse.

The JD-S is miffed at being denied the Kozhikode seat while the CPI wants the Ponnani seat, which it has been contesting for years.

Senior CPI-M leader and MP A. Vijayaraghavan Tuesday reiterated that there is no going back on the candidature of Hussain Randathani for the Ponanni seat.

“There are no two opinions about his candidature and he has already hit the campaign trail,” said Vijayaraghavan.

According to party sources, CPI may swap Ponanni seat, on which it has been contesting since 1980, for the newly constituted Wayanad seat.

“We have nothing to tell you for now. Discussions are still on. May be, we can provide you with some news on (March) 20th,” CPI assistant secretary K.E. Ismail said.

Meanwhile, the JD-S, which currently holds the Kozhikode seat, will meet Wednesday to finalise its plan.

“We are meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) and our party’s stock has gone up with the resignation of (Transport Minister Mathew T.) Thomas,” said party chief Veerendra Kumar at Kozhikode.

All constituents of the LDF will meet March 20 to finalise the seat sharing pact.

In the 2004 elections, 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.

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

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