Demands Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha seat

The Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) could not complete its seat-sharing exercise on Wednesday following the insistence of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on getting a Lok Sabha seat.

The LDF State committee, which was expected to seal the seat deal at Wednesday’s meeting, could not do so as NCP representatives T.P. Peethambaran and A.K. Saseendran staged a minor boycott of the meeting at its beginning and rejoined other Left leaders only an hour into the proceedings.

LDF sources said during their bilateral meeting with Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] leaders shortly before the formal LDF panel meeting began, the NCP leaders insisted that they should get either a Lok Sabha seat or the assurance of a future Rajya Sabha seat. It was finally decided to continue the bilateral discussions here on Thursday.

Going by the current pace of discussions in the alliance, the LDF is likely to announce its final line-up of constituencies and candidates only on Friday, and the NCP is unlikely to have its wish fulfilled.

The LDF meeting on Wednesday, however, formalised its decision to allot Kottayam to the Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)]. Ever since the CPI(M) agreed to give the seat to the JD(S), the party has been trying to zero in on a person who could represent the party in the constituency where the Kerala Congress (M) nominee Jose K. Mani is set to seek re-election.

The CPI(M) is also working hard to identify a candidate for the Idukki seat. Party district unit secretary M.M. Mani told presspersons that the LDF would not consider extending support to KC(M) leader Francis George even if he were to enter the fray as an independent.

JSS to ally with LDF

Meanwhile, the Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) has taken the formal decision to request the LDF leadership for admission into the alliance. The party State executive committee, which met at Alappuzha on Wednesday, authorised party leader K.R. Gouri to take up the issue with the LDF leadership. CPI(M) leaders T.M. Thomas Isaac and Anathalavattom Anandan had met Ms. Gouri to discuss the modalities of her party’s entry into the Opposition alliance.

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