Leaders of CPI and CPI(M), however, do not want to speculate on how this would impact efforts to put together a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative

As seat-sharing talks between the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the two main Left parties hit a deadlock on Wednesday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India maintained there was no question of settling for a seat each as was being offered to them.

Conceding a deadlock in talks, leaders of the two parties, however, did not want to speculate on how this would impact efforts to put together a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative at the Centre. In fact, Tamil Nadu was one State where the Left and the AIADMK could complement each other. Already, the Left has given up on seat-sharing with the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar, Biju Janata Dal in Odisha and Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka.

“The AIADMK offer is unacceptable to us as we have been contesting three seats each for the last couple of Lok Sabha elections. This is unacceptable to us.” The leaders of the two Left parties are expected to meet within the next 48 hours for evolving a joint response after the CPI State Executive meets on Thursday. The CPI(M) State Committee met on Wednesday.

Though the deadlock in Tamil Nadu has come as a setback, the Left leaders insist the third alternative was always conceived as a post-poll arrangement. “It all depends on how many seats each one wins in respective States,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav told The Hindu.

Similar views were articulated by a Left party leader on condition of anonymity. “Most of the 11 parties that came together in Parliament on February 5 to form a separate bloc are regional outfits and each wants to pick up the maximum number of seats possible. This was more or less expected; we do not plan to give up seats in West Bengal or Kerala.”

Explaining the rationale of the effort to prop up a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative despite inherent contradictions that are now coming to the fore, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat had in an article in February 2014 said: “Since many of the parties in this emerging alternative are State-based, it is not feasible to have seat adjustments with other constituent parties in other states. But all these parties can pool their strength from their respective states for an all-India combination.”

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