NCP drifting away from LDF over Pala

NCP drifting away from LDF over Pala

Kottayam: The state unit of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is drifting away from the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) pointing out the rough deal meted out to the party in the recently concluded local body polls.

NCP state president T P Peethambaran Master has directed all district committees to furnish details of seats allotted and seats won in the recent local body polls and the previous elections held in 2015. The state president will take part in all district committee meetings which have been convened from

January 2. The move is part of the strategy to keep district committees together and take the district leadership into confidence while deciding to cross over. But the move to change the front proposed by Peethambaran Master and Mani C Kappan axis is being opposed by transport minister A K Saseendran and his supporters. With the Saseendran faction making counter moves to keep their supporters with the LDF, a tug of war has begun in the NCP.

Pala MLA Mani C Kappan has already held several rounds of discussions with the UDF leaders in anticipation of denial of ticket by LDF. After the entry of Kerala Congress (M) led by Jose K Mani in LDF, strong indications have emerged from the Left camp that Pala known as K M Mani's bastion would be allotted to them.

The NCP which has four seats at the moment is demanding six. Even before the UDF leadership's official statement on Pala, Kerala Congress (Joseph) leader P J Joseph has publicly stated that the seat would be given to NCP and they would be welcomed in the front. Joseph argues that to defeat Jose K Mani faction in Pala it is important to bring Kappan on the UDF side.

Kappan on his part has informed NCP national president Sharad Pawar that it would be difficult for him to continue in a front which is denying even the sitting seat.

Considering the tie up between Congress and NCP at the national level, Pawar would not be averse to the state unit of his party becoming part of the UDF.

However, there are leaders in NCP who say there is no point in leaving the front when the CPM has not said a word about Pala yet. It is under these circumstances that a section of NCP leaders are trying to whip up the sentiments against LDF accusing it of giving a rough deal to their party in the recently concluded local body polls.

The NCP has complained that it was allotted only 50 per cent of seats that the party contested last time.

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