Left to go it alone in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa’s snub

Smarting under Jayalalithaa’s snub over the request for two seats each to CPI and CPM, the top Left leaders on Thursday attributed it to the Tamil Nadu chief minister’s confidence that the AIADMK would sweep the polls in a four-cornered contest. “All along, Tamil Nadu had twocornered fight between DMK and AIADMK. But for the first time there is a possibility of DMK, AIADMK, Congress and BJP fighting as separate groups. She has done her calculation and is confident that opposition votes will split very badly. Tamil Nadu has never witnessed election like this,” said a top left leader who didn’t want to be named. He said indication that the alliance will fall apart had come few days back when she decided to offer one seat each to CPM and CPI.

“We would have settled for two seats each but she was unwilling,” he said. He though dismissed speculation that by dumping the Left, Jayalalithaa has opened window for BJP. “BJP’s alliance with Vijayakanth’s party is almost certain. She wants the opposition vote to get as fragmented as possible,” said a senior CPI leader said adding that the post-poll scenario couldn’t be predicted now. Jayalalithaa’s reported order to the party cadre to keep the attack confined to Congress and go soft on BJP during the campaign had dropped hints about her plans to change tack after having shared the stage with the Left and other leaders for a Third Front. The Left now says it will not be part of any alliance but rather become the fifth political formation in Tamil Nadu.

“After having campaigned so much against DMK’s corruption, we cannot join them or any other alliance,” said the Left leader. CPM and CPI leaders have now decided to contest at least 10 to 12 seats in the state. Both the parties won one seat each in Tamil Nadu in 2009. While CPM won Coimbatore, CPI got Tenkasi. Without alliance with either of the big two – DMK and AIADMK – it is unlikely that Left will repeat its 2009 performance. The Left has roughly 6-7% vote with few areas of dominance.

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