C. Gouridasan Nair

In lieu of Ponnani

CPI State executive committee to meet today

JD(S) State panel to meet in Kozhikode

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPI(M) State leadership is understood to have promised to give the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat to the CPI in exchange for Ponnani as part of the two parties’ efforts to break the deadlock in the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) over seat-sharing.

The CPI(M) leaders gave the promise to CPI State assistant secretary K.E. Ismail, MP, and Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran when the two leaders called on them at the AKG Centre here on Tuesday. The CPI State executive committee is meeting here on Wednesday to consider the offer and, probably, select the candidate to be fielded in Wayanad. The party had communicated to the CPI(M) leadership on Monday its reluctance to take the Ponnani seat with Husein Randathani staying in the fray. According to reports from Ponnani, Mr. Randathani resumed campaign on instructions from the CPI(M) leadership.

If the CPI does indeed get the Wayanad seat, it would be a great relief for the party as otherwise it would have been saddled with the difficult responsibility of fighting the election on behalf of the LDF against heavy odds. The alliance leaders hope that memories of the spat between leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI over the Ponnani seat would vanish once the election campaign hits the top gear. The Janata Dal (Secular) State committee is also meeting on Wednesday in Kozhikode to take stock of the situation following denial of the Kozhikode seat to the party and the consequent resignation by Transport Minister Mathew T. Thomas. The party is likely to decide to stay away from the LDF’s campaign effort and leave it to the party workers to take a decision on whom to vote for. Party sources said that since both JD(S) and CPI(M) were part of the Third Front at the national level, there is no question of the party quitting the LDF.