The CPM and CPI have announced that they will contest in 18 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The two parties are set to have a round of meetings with each other after March 17, and also consult their respective national leaderships on whether or not to extend support to other parties in the constituencies that they are not contesting.
Addressing a press conference together on Friday, the Left cousins said they would contest nine seats each, and that the list of candidates would be released by Sunday. The decision on candidates is to be finalised at the State committee meetings of the CPI and the CPM, to be held on March 15 and 16 respectively.
The announcement was jointly made by CPM’s State secretary G Ramakrishnan, national executive member TK Rangarajan, CPI State secretary D Pandian and veteran leader R Nallakannu.
The Left leaders also announced that their cadre had been instructed not to vote for any of the other alliances in the constituencies they are not contesting. “There is still a lot of time for the elections. After we announce our candidates, we will consult our national leadership on whether we should extend our support to anyone else. Then, we have to discuss this with the CPI as well,” Rangarajan told Express.
The CPM is set to contest in Coimbatore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, North Chennai, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Virudhunagar, Villupuram (SC) and Thanjavur. It is incumbent in Coimbatore, and had contested in Madurai and Kanyakumari in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
The CPI is set to contest in Tenkasi (SC), Nagapattinam (SC), Puducherry, Tiruppur, Sivaganga, Dharmapuri, Cuddalore, Thiruvallur (SC) and Thoothukudi. It is incumbent in Tenkasi and had also contested in North Chennai and Nagapattinam in the 2009 LS polls.