Seat-sharing: CPI(M) mulls options

Party does not want to rattle even minor parties with no winnability factor

After its electoral success in the local body polls, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) will exercise a minimal aggressive approach in seat-sharing among its alliance partners for the Assembly polls due in four months.

However, its hands-off coalition management seems to have aggravated the situation with infighting raging among its junior partners. The State unit of the Janata Dal (Secular), a constituent of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), split into factions with dissenters going for a nascent outfit. It was followed by the fractious disorder in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) State unit.

Despite the minor parties having no big stake in the political arena and the winnability factor of their nominees remaining low, the CPI(M) does not want to gamble on rattling its partners. Already the entry of the Jose K. Mani faction and the induction of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) are giving a tough posture to the CPI(M) in the seat-sharing talks.

The CPI (M) leadership is awaiting an announcement on the official position of the NCP when its national president Sharad Pawar will be visiting the State in the coming days .

The development comes even as a faction in the NCP met United Democratic Front leaders on the possible outcomes of the seat- sharing arrangement. Last time, the NCP had contested four and won three seats. Minister A.K. Saseendran is determined to recontest the polls on the LDF platform. So also another legislator Mani C. Kappan, who won the bypoll from Pala.

While the tussle among the warring factions of the NCP is coming to a head, the CPI(M) is preoccupied to field Mr. Saseendran from the Kannur segment rather than offering him another chance to stand from the Elathur segment in Kozhikode district. Then, Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran of the Congress (S), the residual faction of the Indian Congress (Socialist), who represents the Kannur segment, will exit the electoral fray.

In the previous elections, the LDF won 91 seats, up from 68 in the 2011 polls. The Kerala Congress (M) and the Janata Dal (United) — now transmuted as LJD — had contested 15 and 7 seats respectively when they were in the UDF camp.

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