CPI(M) to contest from Coimbatore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Chennai North, Dindigul, Trichy, Virudhunagar, Villupuram and Thanjavur; CPI from Tenkasi, Nagapattinam, Puducherry, Tiruppur, Sivaganga, Dharmapuri, Cuddalore, Tiruvallur and Tuticorin

For the first time after the 1964 split in the undivided Communist party, the two main Left parties — the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) — on Friday formalised a poll pact to contest as a distinct front in 18 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

The State along with neighbouring Puducherry accounts for 40 Lok Sabha seats.

At a joint press conference here, CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan and CPI State secretary D. Pandian announced that the Left parties would contest nine seats each.

As regards the remaining 22 Lok Sabha constituencies, they said the CPI (M) and the CPI would not support the BJP, the DMK, the Congress and the AIADMK combines. However, they would consider supporting other individuals or parties if they sought the Left’s backing.

“These four combines will not get our support, it is clear. That is our political stand. We are not contesting alone … we are contesting with the help of the people,” Mr. Pandian said, adding that the two parties met just for two days and struck a deal.

After several rounds of talks on seat-sharing with the ruling AIADMK failed, the Left parties declared that they would go it alone in the April 24 election.

While the CPI (M) would contest in Coimbatore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Chennai (North), Dindigul, Tiruchi, Virudhunagar, Villupuram (Reserved) and Thanjavur, the CPI would field its candidates in Tenkasi (Reserved), Nagapattinam (Reserved), Puducherry, Tirupur, Sivaganga, Dharmapuri, Cuddalore, Tiruvallur (Reserved) and Tuticorin.

List of candidates

Parrying questions on why the alliance with the AIADMK broke, Mr. Ramakrishnan said enough had been said about that already.

The CPI (M) would release the list of candidates on March 16 and the CPI would do it the next day.

The Left parties were in the AIADMK alliance when they contested three constituencies each in the 2009 Lok Sabha election and won one seat each.

Later speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ramakrishnan said the party would campaign against communalism, corruption and anti-economic reforms.

“The country has been a witness to scams like the 2G spectrum and coal block allocation … there is an unprecedented nexus involving politicians, corporates, businessmen and bureaucrats,” he said.

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