M. Rajeev

All efforts will be made to minimise direct contests, says Raghavulu

The situation will depend on the seats allotted by their allies CPI to adopt a flexible attitude in areas where it is not in the fray

HYDERABAD: As the prospects of putting up a united fight in the coming panchayat elections continue to be bleak, the Left parties - CPI and CPI(M) - have landed in a piquant situation.

With CPI sailing with the Congress and the CPI(M) striking a deal with the TDP wherever possible, the leadership of the two parties were initially confident of not having direct contests between them to avoid a split in the Left vote.

But, if the ongoing seat-sharing talks with their respective allies are any indication, the two Left parties could fight each other in some constituencies.

Notwithstanding their efforts to avoid a direct contest, leaders of the two parties point out that much of it will depend on the seats allotted to them by their allies. As a consequence, there could be a face-off between the two parties in seats where the Congress allots them to the CPI and the TDP supports the CPI(M) nominees.

The parties are, however, confident that such contests, if inevitable, will be kept to the minimum as the number of seats where they have a strong combined presence is limited to a couple of districts. "We are in favour of minimising such contests. It becomes inevitable if the Congress intentionally allots seats to the CPI in areas where we are strong," CPI(M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu, told The Hindu .

"It's up to CPI(M)"

According to CPI State secretary K. Narayana, his party decided to adopt a flexible attitude in the areas where it is not in the fray. "We are contesting in a limited number of seats and the initiative to minimise these direct contests should come from the CPI(M) which is putting up its nominees in a majority of places," he said.