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Left to go it alone in TN

Chennai, March 9: The CPM and the CPI, which parted ways with the AIADMK over seat-sharing differences, will contest the Lok Sabha election on a Left platform, Prakash Karat announced today.

At a party meeting in Nagpattinam, the CPM general secretary slammed the AIADMK for “unilaterally declaring” all 40 candidates from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry without taking the Left parties into confidence after announcing an alliance with them.

“The AIADMK should have in mind that the alternative for people-oriented policies could not be formed by ignoring or marginalising the Left parties, whether it be at the Centre or in the states,” Karat said.

Karat had met AIADMK boss Jayalalithaa at her residence on February 3, after which the two parties had announced their alliance. CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan had called on her a day earlier. The meetings were part of the Left’s efforts to team up with regional parties and isolate Mamata Banerjee.

The CPM leader today ruled out a pre-poll alliance with the DMK. “The UPA government, in which the DMK was a constituent, was responsible for the worst corruption like scandals in 2G spectrum, coal allocation and the Commonwealth games,” he said.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi had invited the two Left parties to join his front after they announced the end of their pact with the AIADMK.

The CPI, which has already announced that it would work in tandem with the CPM, is expected to back Karat’s move at its state executive on Monday.

“The general feeling in the party is to fight the election on a Left platform. But the final announcement would be taken in Monday’s meeting,” disclosed G. Mahendran, the CPI assistant secretary.

The DMK, which has so far allocated four seats to three of its minor allies, has 36 more in its kitty, including one in Puducherry. It had offered two seats each to the Left parties, which the AIADMK had refused to do.

Now that the Left has spurned its offer and the DMK is not keen on readmitting the Congress, the party has the highest number of seats — 36 — to contest since 1989. That year, it had contested 31 seats but drawn a blank.

Tamil Nadu could, therefore, see a five-cornered contest between the AIADMK, DMK, BJP-led alliance, Congress and the Left. The last two, whose vote base has shrunk over the years, are unlikely to impact the outcome.