Thiruvananthapuram: With most political parties in Kerala setting their house in order ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Kerala Congress (Mani), the third biggest ally in the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, has decided to ask for three seats.
Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha and nine Rajya Sabha seats.
According to top leaders, KC(M) which presently has one seat-Kottayam is certain to get it, but during a meeting on Sunday, they decided to demand three, so they can bargain for a total of two seats, including Kottayam.
The party was part of the now Congress-led UDF during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the very next year they cooperated with the Left at the 2020 local body elections and thereafter became a full fledged ally.
KC(M) was formed by K.M.Mani, who was a towering political personality and the mainstay of the Congress-led UDF. He passed away in 2019 and after that his son Jose K.Mani with a majority of the workers joined the Left.
While an ally of the Congress-led UDF, KC(M) always was given one Lok Sabha seat and at times one Rajya Sabha seat.
In the 2021 Assembly polls in their first outing with the Left, they won five seats and banking on that Jose and his party at their meeting on Sunday decided to demand three with the hope of getting one more seat to their Kottayam that they already hold.
The party is eyeing one of the four seats — Pathanamthitta, Chalakudy, Vadakara or Idukki — as they claim to be strong in these seats.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said it’s doubtful if the KC( M) can flex their muscles with the Left, which late Mani did when he was with the UDF with good success.
”With the stock of the Pinarayi Vijayan presently at rock bottom, perhaps Jose can put his demand very strongly. Unlike the UDF, it’s not easy for an ally to put its foot down in the Left and under duress get more than what they normally would,” said the critic.
Incidentally, Jose’s term in Rajya Sabha ends in July next year and hence the party manages to get two seats, he might try his luck from one of the seat, as his political stock nosedived after his shocking defeat at the 2021 Assembly polls from the Pala seat which his father never lost from 1967 till he passed away in 2019.