The sudden shift of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) vice chairman Poonthura Siraj to the Indian National League (INL), which has announced him as an LDF candidate in the Manikyavilakam ward of the city Corporation, has not gone down well with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)].
The CPI(M) district committee has conveyed its displeasure to the INL, demanding that the party field another candidate from the ward. CPI(M) district secretary Anavoor Nagappan said that the LDF cannot accept any alliance with those associated with radical communal organisations.
“Siraj announced one fine day that he is shifting to the INL and soon they announced his candidature too. This is not acceptable to CPI(M). The LDF cannot deviate from its stated policy just with the aim to secure an electoral victory. We might win or lose elections, but we cannot associate with parties like PDP, of which Siraj was the vice-chairman. We have conveyed this to the INL district president. We are hoping that they will find a suitable candidate to replace him, else someone else from the LDF will have to contest in that ward,” said Mr.Nagappan.
However, INL district treasurer A.L.Kasim, who was previously announced as the candidate for Manikyavilakam ward, said that the party district committee will convene on Monday and announce its decision.
“We intend to go forward with Siraj’s candidature,” he said.
The CPI(M)’s refusal to have any kind of alliance with those associated with organisations like PDP comes at a time when it is attacking the United Democratic Front (UDF) of having electoral understandings with Islamist organisations including Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Jamaat-e-Islami.
Poonthura Siraj has been a former councillor of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation over three terms in 1995, 2000 and 2005. He has been known as a trusted aide of PDP founder Abdul Nasser Maudany.
Manikyavilakam is the sole ward that LDF- constituent INL has been allocated in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. Its candidate had managed to win the ward by a considerable margin in the previous elections.