Wrangling in LDF over seat arrangement

Old allies accuse CPI(M) of favouring new entrants into front

The entry of Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) is now posing a trouble for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the seat-sharing process for the three-tier local body polls within the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kozhikode district.

The JD(S) was offered two seats in the 75-member corporation council while the LJD and the CPI were allotted four seats each. The JD(S) local leaders alleged that those two seats were not winnable for the LDF.

In the 27-member Kozhikode District Panchayat, the JD(S) was not given any seat to contest while the LJD, Indian National League (INL) and Jose K. Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (M), a nascent entrant into the LDF, were give a seat each.

The CPI(M) leadership had anticipated that such an uneasy situation that would arise in the run-up to the polls as the party would have to satisfy all its constituents, including the Janata Dal (S) and Indian National League (INL). Significantly, to prevent disputes in seat-arrangement, the CPI(M) pushed for the merger of the LJD and the JD(S) in the State. Nothing materialised despite the nine-member committee comprising both the parties holding parleys in Kochi last month.

The disgruntlement is also witnessed in the grama pancahayats, municipalities and the block panchayats as well.

Local leaders have come out openly against what they allege the step-motherly approach to an old ally while favouring the new entrants.

How the internal squabbles within the LDF pan out remains to seen as filing of nomination papers have already commenced and ends on November 19.

At the same time, the CPI(M) leaders are hopeful that the contretemps with allies over seat-sharing arrangements would be solved in the coming days. Even the CPI felt that the party had not got its due in the sea-sharing process.

The wrangling over the seat-sharing in the local body polls, many believe, will linger on to the Assembly polls next year. The LJD already has an eye on the Vadakara Assembly segment, which is now represented by the JD (S).

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