NCP firm on not giving up Pala seat

Peethambaran says party will not desert Left Democratic Front

Amid speculations that a section of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) may switch over to the United Democratic Front (UDF), party’s State president T.P. Peethambaran has announced that it will not desert the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

The NCP leader, however, made it clear at a media briefing after a district-level meeting on Sunday that it was not willing to give up any of the four Assembly segments it contested in the last elections either. Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran, who represents the Elathur constituency in Kozhikode, was conspicuous by his absence at the meeting.

Mr. Peethambaran said the Pala seat had been with the party for the past two decades. In the 2019 byelections, Mani C. Kappan had won it after defeating a Kerala Congress (M) candidate. There had been no precedent in the LDF to give up sitting seats. It was illogical to claim that the winner should hand over the seat to a loser. Mr. Peethambaran claimed that the party had conveyed this stand to the Chief Minister. It would also seek clarity about the Pala seat at the next LDF meeting.

The NCP leader pointed out that giving up Pala would amount to punishing a winner. The NCP hoped that the LDF would take a logical decision on the issue. It was not fair to say that only the NCP should compromise [on its seats] when a new party entered the front. “We will not give up any one of the four seats. No seat is anybody’s hereditary property,” Mr. Peethambaran said. There had been a view in the party to promote more youth leaders.

He dismissed the argument that the party had split into two factions. The ongoing district conventions should not be seen as a show of strength. The commemoration event for former Youth Congress (S) leader C.H. Haridas was not an official one, Mr. Peethambaran said.

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