As Kerala Congress factions set to celebrate the 56th formation day of the party on October 9, speculations over the entry of the Jose K. Mani-led Kerala Congress (M) into the Left Democratic Front (LDF) on the occasion have once again gathered momentum.
Sources in the Kerala Congress (M) led by Mr. Mani have confirmed that their leader has called an online meeting of party steering committee members on the formation day to discuss the future course of action. They, however, do not expect a formal announcement regarding the party’s entry into the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led coalition on the occasion.
The party, according to them, is yet to work out a seat-sharing plan with the LDF, especially in local bodies. At the same time, the initial round of talks with the LDF in view of the upcoming elections is already on.
‘‘For instance, the Kerala Congress (M) had contested in 11 divisions in the Kottayam district panchayat in the previous election and seeks to contest from the same number of seats in the upcoming election as well. A consensus on this, however, is yet to be arrived at,’’ they pointed out.
Coalition partners in the LDF, especially the Nationalist Congress Party and the Communist Party of India, however, are yet to respond favourably to the demands put forth by the Kerala Congress (M).
Meanwhile, the Mani group sought to dismiss reports about Mr. Mani quitting the Rajya Sabha membership before joining the LDF camp. Since Mr. Mani was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha, there is no scope for any confusion whatsoever’, they pointed out.