It was a day of old rumblings dying and new ones rising for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala.
One the one hand, after haggling and sulking for a week, the CPI agreed to give up Ponnani in exchange for the Wayanad seat on Thursday. On the other, an upset Janata Dal (Secular) contingent stormed out of the LDF meeting after it was denied a ticket from Kozhikode, where it had won in the last Lok Sabha election. The party is set to meet on March 22 to decide its future course of action.
“For just one seat, the CPI(M) is adamant. This will weaken the alliance of a secular democratic front. It is sad, indeed. Definitely, it would reflect in the next elections,” said party leader Verghese George after walking out of the meeting. Terming it a “big betrayal,” he also decried the silence of other allies.
Two days ago, JD(S) minister Mathew T Thomas had quit the LDF ministry over the seat-sharing differences. The JD(S) has been contesting the Kozhikode seat since 1980. The party has some following in at least three north Kerala constituencies.
Announcing the list of candidates, LDF convener Vaikkom Viswan expressed hope that the JD(S) wouldn’t go against the alliance’s decision. Hussain Randathani, whose candidature brought the coalition to a brink, would contest from Ponnani as an Independent backed by the LDF.