Fronts in Kerala get down to seat parleys

As Kerala is set to go for assembly polls on April 13,the ruling CPI (M)-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF have begun parleys to finalise the seat-sharing exercise among partners.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2011, 13:11 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: As Kerala is set to go for assembly polls on April 13,the ruling CPI (M)-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF have to race against time as they are yet to finalise the seat-sharing exercise among partners and
each component to work out the list of their contestants for
before the filing of nominations begin on March 19.

The polit bureau and the Central Committee (CC)of the CPI(M)
are to meet in Delhi later this week, where some important
issues would be settled,including the question if chief
minister V S Achuthandan should be fielded again as the
captain of the LDF.

According to party sources here, the CC meet,would decide
who should lead the party and the front among the top-ranking
leaders from the state, in case 87-year-old Achuthanandan is
withdrawn from the electoral combat.

The party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and state Home
Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan are the other two PB members
from Kerala apart from S Ramahcnandran Pillai, who has for
long been attached to the party centre.

In case 87-year-old Achuthandan either opts out or being
pullued out by the party, the mantle of leadership would fall
either on Vijayan or Balakrishnan.

The exercise of seat-sharing in the LDF would not be a hard
task as the coalition does hot have any new ally on board, as
has happened in the case of the UDF since the last assembly
election.

Barring the CPI (M) and the CPI, the LDF does not have
any component which has an active presence throughout the
state.

This would mean, according to CPI (M) sources, that a large
chunk of seats would go the lead partner followed by the CPI
(M) with other allies like RSP, Kerala Congress (Thomas
faction) and the Congress-S receiving a handful seat in their
respective spheres of influence.

But the seat-sharing would not be an easy affair in the UDF,
where Kerala Congress (Mani faction) is out to make a hard
bargaining for more seats than it had been given last time.

The K C(M),leader K M Mani,has backed his claim on the ground
that the party`s support base in the Christian heartland
Central Trvanocre region has expanded with the KC (Joseph)
faction faction merging with it about an year back.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second largest
constituent in the UDF, would also demand a couple of more
seats this time on the ground that the number of the number
of assembly segments has increased due to demograhpic reasons
in its core political turf Malappuram in north Kerala.

The UDF has also to accommodate the SJD, fomred by the Janata
Dal faction led by former Union Minister M P Veerendrakumar,
after seceding from the LDF during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Another component that has become an incurable irritant for
the Congress is JSS, led by grand old lady of Kerala politics,
K R Gowry Amma,who left the CPI (M) and floated her outfit
soem 15 years back.

PTI