The Forward Bloc, one of the supposed pillars of the Left camp in the Centre and an important constituent of the ruling Left Front in West Bengal, has gone saffron in Kerala.
The reason is simple. The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front has spurned the FB’s move to join the front before the civic body elections in the state on October 3-5.
With the other power block, the Congress-led United Democratic Front, not really being an option, the FB has decided to walk into the waiting arms of the Bharatiya Janata Party that has been trying to form a third block for quite some time.
The FB has been given two seats for the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation elections and leaders of both the parties
said they might continue the experiment in the assembly elections too.
But BJP leaders are cautious. “It’s not a big political alliance. It’s only a local arrangement,” BJP leader B.K. Shekar said.
“In Kerala, the leading LDF partner CPI(M) is allergic towards us. Despite our repeated pleas we have been humiliated time and again,” FB state secretary Arun S. Sasi said.
Sasi said although the CPI(M)’s last central committee meet gave a call to all secular and like-minded parties to unite, its state leadership was just not keen on crowding the camp further. “The party should preach what it practise.”
A senior state CPI(M) leader said on condition of anonymity: “We are already burdened with many smaller parties which always think big. Except a dozen leaders, the FB don’t have any following in the state.”