Kerala

Rivals in Kerala, partners in Mahe: Left parties to work for Congress candidate in erstwhile French enclave

The 9-sq-km erstwhile French enclave sandwiched between Kannur and Kozhikode districts in Kerala will be witnessing a political camaraderie that will raise eyebrows of its neighbours as it goes to the polls to elect the next Member of Parliament for the Puducherry Lok Sabha constituency on April 18.

Mahe is politically, culturally and geographically contiguous with Thalassery, Koothuparamba and Vadakara, where the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress are engaged in a no-holds-barred battle for the Kannur and Vadakara Lok Sabha seats.

But the enclave of Mahe, which forms part of Puducherry, will see leaders and workers of the two traditional rivals coming together to woo votes for the Congress candidate.

The candidate

V. Vaithilingam, Puducherry Speaker and two-time Chief Minister, is likely to be the candidate of the Congress, according to political circles in Mahe. Congress, CPI(M) and the CPI workers will work shoulder to shoulder in Mahe while their counterparts in the adjoining Kannur and Vadakara constituencies are engaged in a pitched electoral battle.

In Puducherry, the ruling Congress-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) alliance is seeking, with the support of the CPI and the CPI(M), to capture the Lok Sabha seat from the All India N.R. Congress (AINRC), which is in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).

The alliance

Mahe’s politics reflects the alliance in Tamil Nadu. Sources said some leaders of the Left parties held an informal consultation with the Congress leadership in Mahe. “The CPI in Mahe cannot take a stand different from the party’s stand vis-à-vis Tamil Nadu politics,” said senior CPI leader in Mahe T. Manhoharan Nambiar. The CPI would go with the party’s Tamil Nadu and Puducherry leadership’s decision. The party has two Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu which it won as part of the alliance, he added.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:50:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rivals-in-kerala-partners-in-mahe/article26592074.ece

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