When the Left Democratic Front (LDF) was formed, all the allies were equals, with no David or Goliath. While the CPM’s seat share increased from a modest seven seats in 1980 to 15 in 2014, the allies were left to scuffle over pittance. CPM was ‘magnanimous’ enough to support the Janata party in three seats in 1980. But, soon David became more equal.
Over the years, the partners withered away and the decisive ‘D’ in the LDF lost its thrust as the seat sharing ended as a sole affair between the CPM and CPI. However, things took a pivotal turn after the RSP pressed the exit button. It took less than 24 hours for the Congress, which capitalised the oppurtunity, to induct RSP into the fold. It offered both RSP and SJD a seat each, thereby dropping its total seat tally to 15, the lowest in the last nine polls. The party’s seat share rose from 13 in 1984 to 17 seats from 1989 as two of its partners, NDP and SRP, ceased to exist, and KC(J) made an exit.
The Congress took a tactical stand by providing two seats to the second ally Muslim league and one to KC(M) while keeping all others at a safe distance in LS polls. Apparently, taking cue from the Congress, CPM increased its seat, but by eating into its allies share . The CPM, however, feels that, the allies are piggybacking on the party, and seats are a luxury to the minor constituents. “There is a lot of difference between the allies of the UDF and LDF. However, it will be difficult for a single party to contest all seats as the state is a pluralist one,” said a source.