With less than 40 days to go for the D-Day, the state of preparedness of the rival political alliances in Kerala could not be any more different. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has announced its candidates for all the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala while the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) is yet to finalise its list. Internal squabbling has reached a crescendo within the Kerala Congress (M). Taking recourse to its time-tested credo of forming splinter groups to expand base may cause the allies to squirm.
Because, the Congress is still fighting over seat allocation as the GenNext is making no pretext of hiding its readiness to take on the old guard. If there are no takers for bets as to who will emerge the winner, it is largely because the stalwarts seem divided between toeing the high command line and packing their bags for possible Central berths. While former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran are reluctant, former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien and former MP P C Chacko seem quite keen to return to Delhi.
Even as the UDF is delaying the declaration of its line-up as has been its wont, things appear much more settled in the LDF camp and it would like to believe that tight, three-cornered fights in at least a couple of constituencies could augur well for them. The BJP-led NDA, despite an almost UDF-like delay in picking its candidates, refuses to be written off this time at least in two or three seats. In the state capital, the lone constituency in which the NDA has a clear candidate, former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan poses a clear challenge to Shashi Tharoor, the sitting Congress MP. Sure these are early days, but right now it is advantage LDF.