THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major political development which is expected to have a ripple effect, four more parties were inducted into the ruling CPM-led LDF on Wednesday. They are Loktantrik Dal of M P Veerendra Kumar MP, Democratic Kerala Congress of Francis George, Indian National League and Kerala Congress (B) of R Balakrishna Pillai.
LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan. who broke the news of alliance’s expansion to reporters, said the discussions in the front pertained only to the entry of the four outfits. Other aspects, like doing the groundwork for the LS polls, will be discussed later.
He said several political parties, including the JSS and C K Janu’s outfit, had submitted letters indicating their willingness to join the LDF. However, only four have been given the nod. Cooperation with other parties, who have sought LDF entry, which will be considered later, will continue.
R Balakrishnapillai, who has been waiting for a while to enter the LDF fold since the messy political divorce with the UDF, expressed happiness at the LDF green light. However, the party will not stake its claim for a Cabinet berth, he said. Democratic Kerala Congress leader Antony Raju too hailed the LDF decision and said as a member of the ruling LDF the party will work towards the creation of a democratic society.
It should be noted here the LDF expansion comes on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls due next year. By a queer coincidence, it was following the LDF’s refusal to yield ground in seat-sharing during the 2014 LS polls which resulted in Veerendrakumar severing ties with the CPM-led alliance. Though he crossed over to the UDF, later following the shock defeat in the Palakkad LS seat and allegations of backstabbing, he quit the UDF. The LDF’s ties with Veerendrakumar have been cemented following the allocation of the Rajya Sabha seat to him.
Kerala Congress(B) has been closely associated with the LDF and it had tried to merge with the Kerala Congress(Scaria) faction unsuccessfully and later the party attempted a back door entry by piggy riding on the NCP which also did not yield dividends. The ongoing Sabarimala agitation is the immediate reason for the LDF to include the Pillai-led Kerala Congress faction in the LDF.