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CPI, CPM heading towards splitsville in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, March 13
Seat-sharing talks in the ruling LDF appeared to be tottering today with the CPI threatening to field candidates in all constituencies of the CPM in the Lok Sabha polls if it was not allowed to contest the Ponanni seat.

“There is no going back on our demand for four seats, including Ponnani. We will not surrender to the CPM’s strategy of containing the partners. We are ready to face any consequences arising from our decision,” CPI state secretary Veliyam Bhargavan told reporters here.

In Delhi, some members of the CPM Politburo, including general secretary Prakash Karat, discussed the issue with senior leader MK Pandhe saying the party was hopeful that the issue would be “resolved at the state level”.

“We are still hopeful that the issue will be resolved locally. We should try to maintain our unity till the end. I hope common sense will prevail,” he told reporters.

The CPM has decided to field a “common LDF independent” in Ponnani, represented by CPI in the 14th Lok Sabha, as a tactical move to muster Muslim support from parties like the PDP of Abdul Nasser Madani.

Bhargavan said the CPI would field its nominees in all the seats except those allotted to the non-CPM LDF allies JD (S) and Kerala Congress (Joseph) faction. The party executive would meet on March 16 to select candidates, he said.

After the politburo meeting, Karat is understood to have had a telephonic conversation with CPI general secretary AB Bardhan to resolve the crisis. — PTI

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