CPI(M) sacrifices its Rajya Sabha seat aspiration at the altar of LDF unity in Kerala

KC(M) has nominated its chairperson, Jose K. Mani, as its candidate. CPI State executive is meeting to finalise its candidate. The lot is likely to fall on CPI leader P.P. Suneer. 

Updated - June 11, 2024 10:47 am IST

Published - June 10, 2024 08:03 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram 

After two days of hectic parleys, the Communist Party of India (M) [CPI(M)] on Monday walked the extra mile to ensure that the wrangle over the allocation of Rajya Sabha seats would not drive a wedge between allies in the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF). in Kerala 

The CPI(M) closed ranks to defend common interests and maintain cohesion within the alliance by allocating the two seats available to the ruling front to the Communist Party of India and the Kerala Congress (M) [KC(M)].  The party sacrificed its aspirations for a Rajya Sabha seat at the altar of LDF unity.

KC(M) has nominated its chairperson, Jose K. Mani, as its candidate. CPI State executive is meeting to finalise its candidate. The lot was likely to fall on CPI leader P.P. Suneer. 

LDF convenor E.P. Jayarajan told the media that the ruling alliance had pre-empted long, drawn-out discussions on seat sharing that often spawned adverse political speculation.

Instead, the CPI(M) had set an example in coalition ethics and decorum by conceding its claim on the RS seat to accommodate its allies. 

He said that, unlike the United Democratic Front, the LDF did not practice a top-down managerial philosophy. “Every ally is equally important. RJD and NCP had rightfully staked their claim for the seats. However, in coalition politics, an alliance could only accommodate the demands of its partners at a time. There will always be other opportunities and circumstances. No door is closed forever,” he said. 

Key allies

Mr. Jayarajan seemingly struggled to dispel the speculation that the CPI(M), shocked by its traumatically dismal showing in the LS polls, could ill afford to bargain from a position of strength with its key allies. He said the KC(M) was a key ally with significant pockets of influence in Central Kerala and the CPI, a national party and legacy ally. 

The CPI(M) could ill-afford to ignore Mr. Mani’s demand for a Rajya Sabha seat despite the KC(M) losing the Kottayam LS seat to the UDF in the recently concluded elections. The BJP was making solid forays into the Christian heartlands in Central Kerala. Congress leader K. Muraleedharan, who lost to BJP’s Suresh Gopi in Thrissur LS constituency, had flagged a significant drift in Christian votes to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accorded a Cabinet seat to George Kurian, the BJP’s Christian face in Kerala, to cement ties with the robust minority community constituting a significant electoral block in Kerala. 

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