Party confident of victory in the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency
The Kerala unit of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) has formally decided to merge with the Revolutionary Socialist Party (B) led by Labour Minister Shibu Baby John. The party State committee, which met here on Monday, decided to hold talks with the RSP(B) leadership on the merger. A three-member committee comprising State secretary A.A. Azeez, former State secretary V.P. Ramakrishna Pillai and party State secretariat member N.K. Premachandran has been formed for the purpose.Joint May Day rally
The committee would, in consultation with the RSP(B) leadership, decide the date on which the merger conference is to be held. Party sources indicated that the merger conference would take place in the last week of May. The RSP and RSP(B) have decided to hold a joint May Day rally in preparation for the merger.
The RSP State committee took stock of Mr. Premachandran’s performance in the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency and concluded that he would win by a margin of at least 25,000 votes against his immediate CPI(M) rival M.A. Baby. Although the RSP was a new entrant into the UDF fold and the Congress had withdrawn its claim on the Kollam seat to accommodate Mr. Premachandran, the party had received total support from the Congress leadership, both at the local and State levels. The other constituents of the UDF also had offered fulsome support to the RSP candidate, the leadership concluded.
Highly placed sources in the party told The Hindu that there was no question of the party seeking additional berths in the Cabinet or new portfolios once the merger goes through. Mr. Baby John would continue to be the leader of the united party’s parliamentary wing and there was no question of any new demands being placed before the RSP(B) leadership, the sources said.
Party general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan chaired the State committee meeting, possibly suggesting that he endorsed the merger decision as also the State committee’s assessment about the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha election. The RSP national executive committee has not met after the Kerala unit’s decision to leave the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF). As and when it meets, it will have to decide how to deal with the development in Kerala. It is likely to do so on the basis of a report to be submitted by Prof. Chandrachoodan.