The CPI(M) is busy stitching together a national alliance to counter the Congress and BJP, but in its own backyard, Kerala, the bickering just won’t stop.
After a tussle with the CPI over the Ponnani seat, the CPI(M) has now got into a fight with its other ally, the Janata Dal (Secular). It has denied the party its traditional Kozhikode seat and, instead, offered it Wayanad — a stronghold of the Opposition United Democratic Front.
Sitting MP MP Veerendra Kumar, who is also the JD(S) state president, slammed the CPI(M)’s decision. “At the national level, the party is busy cobbling up a coalition. But here it is busy pushing its partners out. It is nothing but political immorality.”
An upset JD(S) has withdrawn its lone minister, Mathew T Thomas, from the VS Achuthanandan government. Although the exit won’t pose any immediate threat to the government — it has only five MLAs in the 144-member House — it may deepen crisis in the ruling coalition.
The JD(S) has called an office-bearers’ meet on March 18 to chalk out its strategy.
The CPI, which had trashed the CPI(M)’s move against the JD(S), has again brought up the Ponnani issue.
It made it clear on Monday that it can’t support the CPI(M)-backed Independent candidate, Hussein Randathani, in the north Kerala constituency.
“The CPI can’t support Randathani. It is our seat so we will field our own candidate. There is no question of backing any other candidate,” CPI assistant secretary KE Esmail said after the party state executive meeting.
Earlier in the day, other constituents of the ruling
Left front tried to broker peace between the two allies. The CPI(M) insisted that it would difficult for Randathani to withdraw now, but the CPI argued that he should then contest on the party symbol, which the CPI(M) declined.