KOCHI: The final round of bilateral talks between CPM and each ally is underway, but going by the seat-sharing completed so far, the leading party is the biggest loser in LDF.
The party has so far given away at least seven seats, and it may lose another three, once the seat-sharing talks with other allies, including CPI, get over, said sources.
Of the CPM’s four sitting seats, two have been allocated to the Kerala Congress (M) and the other two to Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) — the new entrants to the Left front.
Interestingly, of the three seats allocated to LJD, a splinter faction of JD(S), two are the sitting seats of the CPM — Koothuparamba and Kalpetta.
The CPI, the second largest constituent in the front, has already given two seats it had contested last time — Kanjirapally and Irikkur —to KC(M). Hence, the CPM has to give seats from its kitty to keep the ally happy.
The Ranni seat — represented by CPM’s Raju Abraham since 1996 — and Chalakudy, where the party ended the winning streak of Congress in 2006, have been handed over to KC(M).
Besides, Kuttiyadi, Piravom and Perumbavoor constituencies, which had been contested by CPM for the past several years, have also been allocated to the KC(M).
Political observers say this is for the first time the CPM is showing such a generous attitude while allocating seats to other constituents.
“CPM is showing generosity towards KC(M) with the intention of intruding into the traditional Christian community votes in the central Travancore belt. Besides, through this allocation, the party is trying to settle internal conflicts. Generally, the CPM always faces allegations of grabbing seats from the allies,” said J Prabhash, a political commentator.
In 2016, CPM contested in 92 seats, including independents. The party fielded candidates with its official symbol in 84 constituencies and independents in eight seats. This time, the party is likely to contest around 85 seats.
“The number of candidates contesting under the party symbol will be finalised only after the secretariat meeting in the capital on Monday,” said a party source.
“Interestingly, the CPM has handed over the seats it can win to KC(M). Ranni, Chalakudy and Perumbavoor are not the strongholds of Kerala Congress and these seats can be won by the party candidate. Kuttiady is also a CPM citadel.
Such seat allocation would affect LDF’s prospects in these constituencies,” said A Jayashankar, political observer.