We made a deal with Kodiyeri for local body polls in many panchayats: Vaniyambalam
MALAPPURAM The Welfare Party of India (WPI) rebutted the Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s “communal and extremist accusations” against it as double standards. “We contested the 2015 local body elections in alliance with the CPI(M) in many panchayats after striking a deal with Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who was then CPI(M) State secretary,” said WPI State president Hameed Vaniyambalam on Friday.
The Left Democratic Front’s main allegation against the rival United Democratic Front (UDF) in the ongoing local body elections is that the UDF has made an understanding with the Welfare Party of India.
The WPI stopped hobnobbing with the LDF following differences with the Pinarayi Vijayan government with regard to policies and approaches towards the Muslim community. “For them (LDF), we are secular when they get our votes, and we are communal when they do not get our votes. This is what we ordinary mortals call double standards,” said Mr. Vaniyambalam.
Welfare Party’s policy states that it can make electoral alliances with all secular parties. It is also the party’s policy to oppose all the Sangh Parivar parties, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
50-odd local bodies
The Welfare Party had made “electoral understanding” with the LDF in 50-odd local bodies across the State in 2015. The LDF openly shared power with the WPI in panchayats such as Koottilangadi, Kuruva, Mankada, Arookutty and Panavally and in the Mukkam municipality.
“Raising allegations of communalism and extremism against us is nothing but double standards. We have not surrendered our principles to any political front. And we have not become part of any formal political alliance,” said Mr. Vaniyambalam.
The CPI(M) turned against the WPI after the Lok Sabha elections even while ruling some local bodies with the their support.
The WPI has made electoral understanding with the UDF in all districts except Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta. Mr. Vaniyambalam said that the understanding made with the UDF was not at the State level, but at the regional level.
LDF convener and CPI(M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan, laughing away the LDF-WPI 2015 tie-up, said at Palakkad the other day that the UDF had made critical alliance with the Welfare Party in panchayats and wards with the sole purpose of defeating the LDF.