The CPI(M), the biggest party in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, will contest elections from 92 of the 140 Assembly constituencies in the State.

Seat-sharing talks within the Left alliance have concluded with the second-biggest LDF constituent, the CPI, having to contend with its 2011 allocation of 27 seats, three less than what it had bargained for. Its push for more seats was rejected by the senior partner, which reasoned that new entrants to the alliance had to be accommodated.

Chief among the LDF’s new constituents is Francis George’s Kerala Congress (Democratic), which broke away from the Kerala Congress (Mani), a partner in the ruling Un-ited Democratic Front. They have been allotted four seats.

Another breakaway group of the KC(M), PC George’s Kerala Congress Secular, has been ignored. The latter was Chief Whip in the ruling UDF government, but had been expelled from the party following his statements against party chief KM Mani and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on the issue of corruption charges. George, who had in 2011, disbanded the Kerala Congress Secular to merge with Mani’s KC(M), was widely expected to be named the LDF nominee from Poonjar, whose MLA he is. He has, however, said he would contest from the constituency as the ‘LDF candidate’.

The Janata Dal (S) was given five seats, the NCP four and Indian National League three. Kerala Congress (B), Kerala Congress (Scaria Thomas), and Congress (S) have been allotted one seat each. The RSP (Kovoor Kunjumon) and the Communist Marxist Party also got one seat each. The Kerala Congress (Balakrishna Pillai), which left the UDF in 2015 after being part of it for long, has been given the Pathanapuram seat, where actor and former Minister KB Ganesh Kumar will be fielded.

KR Gouri ignored

Former firebrand Communist leader KR Gouri, whose Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samiti joined the LDF in August 2015, has been denied a seat. The 96-year-old, a minister in the EMS Namboodiripad ministry of 1957 and 1967, had quit the CPI(M) in 1994 to float the JSS, which had been a constituent of the Congress-led UDF until last year.

Now that the seat-sharing is over, the LDF is likely to announce its candidates on April 4.

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