The chore is not easy for either. In UDF, the allotment of seats has been made more complicated with the entry of some new partners.
The LDF will have to allocate seats with an eye on evading Kerala’s strong anti-incumbency tradition. And with an open war on between CM VS Achuthanandan and CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, the coalition needs to anoint its leader. The CPM was initially expected to deny a ticket to Achuthanandan for not toeing the party line. But he began pursuing several graft cases on his own — he was instrumental in sending former minister and senior UDF leader R Balakrishna Pillai to jail and also raked up the sensational Kozhikode ice cream parlour sex scandal case of the mid-1990s. The CPM is worried that the CM might embarrass the party further if he is denied a ticket.
In the 2006 elections too, the party initially did not give a ticket to Achuthanandan, but was forced to revoke its decision after protests broke out. He is unlikely to get such support now. Most of his supporters have either deserted him or have been neutralized by Vijayan.
“If the party implements the rectification drive...many present leaders would have to go. In that case VS is no exception,” said a state leader.
After its worst debacle in the 2009 parliamentary polls, the CPM prepared a rectification programme under which MPs and MLAs with two or more terms should stay away from polls and concentrate on organisational work. Party insiders feel this will be an ideal way to get rid of Achuthanandan, who has grown unpopular for his autocratic style of work.