RSP exit from LDF spices up Kollam poll

N K Premachandran, Kollam’s own firebrand Comrade, smiles from his election posters. But this time, he’s not a “comrade” and there’s no striking red backdrop.

An overnight turn of events has made the upcoming Lok Sabha election in this southern Kerala constituency all the more interesting. The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) severed ties of more than three decades with the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) to join hands with the Congress. RSP’s Premachandran, a fiercely articulate voice of the LDF for years, now seeks votes from the other camp. Pitted against Premachandran is his old comrade M A Baby, a seasoned CPM leader and politburo member.

Seat under RSP grip

The leaders of the RSP, which has strong roots in the constituency, had taken the decision to exit the LDF in the backdrop of differences with the CPM over its “big brother” attitude. 

The rebellion came as a happy twist for the Congress that was looking to retain the seat it won in 2009. 

The party requested sitting MP N Peethambara Kurup to step aside and marked Kollam for its new ally. 

It has been a dramatic turnaround that spread cheer in the UDF camp but it also puts Premachandran in a spot; after criticising the United Democratic Front (UDF) government in the state and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on many issues, including the solar panel scam, he will now share the campaign stage with Chandy and other senior Congress leaders. 

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