The CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) is likely to allot 10 seats to its newly inducted ally Kerala Congress (M) to contest the upcoming assembly polls in Kerala. The leaders of both the CPM and the KC(M) have reached an agreement in this regard, Manorama News reported.
The leaders have held unofficial discussions ahead of the LDF meeting scheduled to begin on Wednesday. The CPM had promised six seats to the Jose K Mani-led party. However, the latter had demanded more seats.
The KC(M) is likely to get four of the nine seats in Kottayam district as per the latest agreement. They are Pala, Kanjirappally, Kaduthuruthy and Poonjar. In all these seats, other LDF allies had contested in the 2016 polls. In Kanjirappally, LDF ally CPI had contested last time while Kaduthuruthy was allotted to Kerala Congress (Scaria Thomas) faction. Pala was allotted to NCP while Democratic Kerala Congress fielded its candidate in Poonjar. The LDF could not win any of these seats in 2016, though NCP candidate Mani C Kappan won the Pala seat in the 2019 bypoll necessitated by the death of long-time legislator K M Mani.
Jose K Mani has informed the LDF leadership that Sebastian Kulathunkal will be fielded in Poonjar, N Jayaraj in Kanjirappally and Stephen George in Kaduthuruthy. In Pala, the most disputed seat within the LDF, Jose K Mani himself is likely to try his luck. Sitting MLA and NCP leader Mani C Kappan has repeatedly said that his party would not leave the seat to a party he had defeated last time.
In Idukki, the KC(M) is likely to get the Idukki seat, represented by Jose K Mani's close confidant Roshy Augustine, and Thodupuzha.
In Pathanamthitta district, the KC(M) is eyeing the Ranni seat, represented by CPM's Raju Abraham. However, a final decision on it will be taken only in consultation with the CPM's district leadership.
In north Kerala, the KC(M) is likely to get Irikkur (Kannur), Thiruvambady, Perambra or Kuttiyadi (Kozhikode). Irinjalakuda seat in Thrissur is also likely to be allotted to the KC(M).
With the induction of the KC(M) into the LDF, some junior partners in the front will have to suffer losses during seat allocation this time. While the number of seats allotted to the Janadhipathya Kerala Congress will be cut short by half, the Sacaria Thomas-led Kerala Congress and the Congress (S) of Kadannappally Ramachandran are unlikely to have seats this time. Both the leaders have been promised key posts if the LDF retains power in the state, sources said.
The Jose K Mani-led party joined the LDF ahead of the local body polls after it was shown the door by the Congress-led UDF following a dispute between the two factions of the Kerala Congress (M) over the Kottayam district panchayat president's post.
The P J Joseph-led faction stayed back in the UDF.