Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan has said that his party’s decision to move out of the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) and join the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) on election-eve was ‘a calculated political risk.’ Talking to The Hindu here on Sunday, Mr. Chandrachoodan brushed aside the CPI(M) allegation that the switchover to the UDF was in the making for days before it actually happened.
“What the RSP State unit took was a calculated risk. We had no other option given the way the LDF leadership treated us,” he said and added that the RSP was ready to settle for either Pathanamthitta or Kottayam or any seat other than Malappuram “which would have made us a laughing stock.” The CPI(M) leadership rejected the demand ‘with sarcasm’ and that was when the State party unit first thought of moving out, Mr. Chandrachoodan said. The RSP general secretary said he was at no point of time involved in the discussions with the UDF leadership. “I don’t regret their decision, but moving away from the Left was not easy either,” he said.
The Congress, he said, had set three conditions for accommodating the RSP in the UDF fold. The first was that if elected, the RSP member should vote with the Congress, that the two RSPs should merge after the polls, and Shibu Baby John, leader of RSP(B), should be the united party’s Minister.
“We agreed to all three conditions, though the first condition was not an easy one to accept. Now that the Congress is in the Opposition, voting with the Congress would not pose any big dilemma for us,” he pointed out.
Asked how things would have played out had the result in the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency, where party nominee N.K. Premachandran trounced CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby, gone against the party, the RSP leader said that was precisely the risk that the RSP had taken.