New Delhi: Days after RSP defected from Left front to join the ruling UDF in Kerala, an upbeat Chief Minister Oomen Chandy on Thursday said the development is a "morale booster" for the Congress-led alliance and reflects disarray and demoralisation in the rival LDF.
Seeing it as a "big blow" to CPI(M), he expressed confidence that the UDF will win upto 18 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala in the April 10 elections.
Slamming CPI(M), Chandy said the Left party had been trying to poach some of the members of United Democratic Front (UDF) but instead, lost one of its own key constituent (RSP).
"One of the key Left parties RSP joined us. Definitely their decision to join us is a morale booster for us and demoralisation for the Left parties," he told PTI in an interview here.
The Kerala unit of RSP last week quit the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in protest against the denial of the seat. The RSP leadership had alleged that the CPI(M) had adopted the strategy to weaken their party.
Chandy, who is also known for his shrewd political moves, blamed CPI(M)`s "arrogance" for the defection of RSP and the bad state of affairs in the Left Democratic Front (LDF).
He claimed that the general political situation in Kerala is in favour of UDF while the LDF is "demoralised" and in disarray.
In the last Lok Sabha polls, the UDF had won 16 seats and the LDF could secure only four seats.
Attacking the LDF, Chandy said "they are trying to get some parties from UDF."
"They (CPI-M) targeted the Kerala Congress. But nothing has happened. As a party, they refused (to go with them). Then they said that a section of Kerala Congress will join them. But they will also reject. Their partner RSP joined with us. That is a big blow for them," Chandy said.
Talking about infighting in CPI(M), the 70-year-old veteran leader said the sharp differences between senior leader V S Achuthanandan and party`s state Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on various issues will also benefit the UDF in the polls.
"CPI(M) is a divided a house. Achuthanandan is taking a different stand. Vijayan is taking something else," he said.
"They (CPI-M) have changed their style of functioning. They are arrogant, autocratic and they feel that they can do anything," he said citing the killing of rebel Marxist leader T P Chandrasekharan in Kozhikode district by CPI (M) activists two years ago.
"They have no patience to deal with their political opponents in a democratic way--within and outside party. They want to deal it physically. And they are treating their coalition partners very autocratically. They attacked me in Kannur. They tried to justify it. They didn`t have any regret," he said.
Attacking the CPI (M) for often organising shutdowns in the state "only for petty politics", the Chief Minister said such actions only cause problems for the common people and he was very much concerned about it.
He said he had insisted that Congress leadership should not resort to hartals in the state even after he was attacked in Kannur by the CPI(M) activists.
"I insisted, no public protest... No hartal. If there is a hartal, the poor people will suffer. CPI M ...They don`t care about people," he said.