Both parties to work for LDF candidates

Constituency watch: Kerala

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] has refused to spare seats for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Kerala Congress (KC) led by former Union Minister P.C. Thomas.

During bilateral discussions here on Thursday, CPI(M) leaders made it clear that NCP cannot be given a seat as it belonged to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the national level. They also told Kerala Congress leaders that they would have to work with the LDF without getting to fight any seat.

NCP upset

T.P. Peethambaran and A.K. Saseendran, the NCP leaders who represented the party at the discussions, were upset with the CPI(M) leaders’ response, but told reporters that though the party was upset with the CPI(M) decision, it would work for the LDF’s victory in the elections. The party would consider various options available to it outside the elections.

The KC leaders appeared reconciled to the possibility of not being given the Idukki seat they had sought and were more or less happy that they got treated with respect as a formal ally of the Opposition alliance.

The party leaders assured the CPI(M) leadership that they would work for the alliance regardless of whether it was given a seat or not.

The Janata Dal (Secular) [JD-S] leadership spent the day trying to identify a person who could represent the party in the Kottayam seat allotted to it.

Two names

The party leadership met in Kochi and would meet against on Friday to finalise the party nominee. Two names that have found increasing acceptance within the party are those of George Thomas and Benny Kurian. The former appeared to be emerging as the favourite by evening. The LDF State committee is meeting here on Friday and the final line-up of candidates of the alliance is likely to be announced at the end of the meeting.

The CPI had announced its candidate list on Wednesday. Those who have been confirmed as candidates by the CPI(M) and CPI have already begun campaigning in their respective constituencies.

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