Kerala

Main coalitions count on poll chemistry

Though electioneering is yet to pick up steam, the realignment of political forces has seemingly given an arithmetic edge to CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the three- tier local body polls next month.

The so-called rainbow coalition of left parties has gained strength with the entry of Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) and the faction led by Jose K. Mani of the Kerala Congress (M) and the formal induction of Indian National League (INL). The LDF has nearly 11 constituents, including the motley groups of the splintered Kerala Congress, Communist Marxist Party (Aravindakshan) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (Leninist). Besides, the National Congress Party, Congress(S) and Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samithi led by K.R. Gouri.

Such a big coalition was reminiscent of realpolitik employed by the late Congress leader K. Karunakaran when he had been at the helm of affairs during the 1980s. Perhaps this coalition of the CPI(M)-CPI combine, which has the largest number of constituents irrespective of ideological moorings, may be a record in the recent political history of the State.

It remains to be seen whether the LDF experimenting with so many political hues will be able to exorcise the spectre of anti-incumbency haunting the government. At least, their leaders believe so.

However, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) leadership feels that big coalitions threw up alliance arithmetic but not necessarily the political chemistry in elections. As such electoral chemistry works in a different format in different regions. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress candidates won both the Kozhikode and Vadakara seats, despite the LJD supporting the CPI(M) nominees in a fiercely contested polls.

Nevertheless, the entry of JD(U) which metamorphosed into LJD could not do wonders when it aligned with the Congress-Indian Union Muslim League combine in the 2015 local body polls as well as in the subsequent 2016 Assembly elections.

Too many coalition partners have already given a headache for the CPI(M) over seat-sharing arrangement. Differences of opinion cropped up with the long-time partner Janata Dal (Secular) accusing the Left parties of favouring the LJD.

Many believe that the role of minor partners will be confined only to the three-tier local body polls. But these elections will be a decisively indicative test for both coalitions in the Assembly poll next year.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 7:01:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/main-coalitions-count-on-poll-chemistry/article33142997.ece

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