THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Just a week after Kerala Congress (M) Jose K Mani faction severed ties with Opposition UDF, the ruling Left front formally inducted the party into its political alliance. The LDF on Thursday inducted the KC(M) as its 11th constituent in the hope that the move would ensure its continuity in office in the coming Assembly polls.
This is the second party that has shifted its loyalties to the LDF during the current government's tenure. The Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) too was earlier inducted into the Left front. But in comparison, the move had not been this easy. With its latest acquisition, the LDF is hopeful of raking in the Christian votes of Central Travancore.
At the LDF meet on Thursday, the CPM put forth the requirement to induct the new party as a formal ally, as it would weaken the UDF in state politics, especially in Central Travancore. Though the CPI was of the view that it could be made a formal ally some time later, it too agreed to the general consensus.
NCP president TP Peethambaran raised the party's apprehensions over the Pala Constituency. The Chief Minister however assured him that KC (M) has put forth an unconditional alliance. Matters related to seat-sharing for the Assembly polls can be discussed as and when it happens, he said.
The KC(M) will now officially attend LDF meets from next time onwards. The LDF hopes to cash in on the local body elections with the new alliance. A united fight in the local body polls would be a boost for the coming Assembly elections. For local body elections, regional level decisions would be taken for seat-sharing.
It was on October 14 that Jose K Mani had announced the party's decision to join hands with the Left front. In a couple of days, he had held discussions with the state secretaries of the CPM and the CPI. Though the CPI was initially not in favour of accommodating the Jose faction, it welcomed the party after blateral talks between CPM and the CPI.
Briefing the media of its decision, LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan said all LDF allies had welcomed KC (M)'s Left entry. Those parties which are now associating with the LDF from outside the front will continue to do so. Terming it a historical moment in Kerala politics, Vijayaraghavan said this will aid Left government's continuity in office.
"This will bring in a major change in the state's political history as it would weaken the UDF. The KC(M) and its supporters moving to the Left will boost the front's winning chances in the local body polls. The Opposition front has been reduced to an alliance of just two-three parties," he said. Responding to media queries, he said no party in the front had opposed KC(M)'s Left entry. The LDF convener said the Jose faction has not put forward any pre-conditions. No discussions were held on seat-sharing for the Assembly elections.
With the new entrant, the LDF has become an alliance of 11 poltiical parties. In December 2018, the LDF had formally inducted four parties - Indian National League, LJD, Democratic Kerala Congress and Kerala Congress (B) - into the Left fold.