RSP walks out of LDF after being denied seat
Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), a constituent of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, Saturday walked out of the alliance after it was denied a Lok Sabha seat, saying it was fed up with the overbearing attitude of the CPI-M.
Addressing reporters here, after day-long deliberations at the RSP headquarters here, its state secretary A.A. Azeez also indicated the party was open to joining the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF).
"We have been for long demanding from the CPI-M that they return the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency. But sadly, the CPI-M did not even call us for any talks and arbitrarily announced that they will not give us the Kollam seat. We have decided to leave the LDF and we will put up our candidate at Kollam," he said.
The RSP was in the LDF for the past 39 years.
On whether the parting of ways would be applicable to West Bengal where RSP is part of the Left Front, Azeez said this is a decision of the state committee, though the party's national general
secretary was also a party to ot.
"This decision has been taken at the state level and when a decision at the national level has to be taken, it would be taken. Our national party secretary T.J.Chandrachoodan was also present (when the decision was taken)," he said.
Asked if the UDF had approached it, Azeez said: " Yes, we have been sounded by the United Democratic Front and we both will sit down and begin talks on how we can go ahead together.
The coming days will reveal how and what our association would be with the UDF," he said.
The RSP also decided to field former parliamentarian and state minister N.K.Premachandran from Kollam, from where the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have more or less decided to field legislator and politburo member M.A.Baby and the official announcement is expected shortly.
"We had no option because the very organisational existence of our party has been affected by the arbitrary decision of the CPI-M and hence we decided that we will leave the LDF," said Premachandran.
This decision is going to bring cheers to the UDF as the Oommen Chandy government has just a three seat margin in the 140-member assembly. The RSP has have two legislators and as and when they decide to join the UDF, the margin goes up by five.
"Please don't forget that we were one of the Left parties that supported the first UPA government, so even though we have been critical of the present UPA government, our decision to move out of the LDF now is not going to be seen as political opportunism," said Azeez.
Reacting to the development, Congress's state unit president V.M.Sudheeran said that they are open to talks with the RSP and at the opportune time, will meet up with them.
"Maybe tomorrow (Sunday) itself, we will sit down with the RSP to talk things out," he told reporters here.
However, senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader C.Divakaran said that all is not lost and there is time still left for a patch up.
The RSP's exit leaves the LDF now comprising the CPI-M, CPI, Janata Dal-Secular, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress-S and Kerala Congress.
Meanwhile the state Labour Minister Shibu Baby John, the son of legendary late RSP leader Baby John, who heads a faction of the erstwhile RSP and is an ally of the UDF, expressed happiness in the new development and expected that it could pave the way for the unification of the RSP.
Hearing the news, John arrived at the office where his father held away for many years and hugged his former party leaders.
(Posted on 08-03-2014)