Splinter groups in sunset zone

Sunset in the desertThiruvananthapuram: The seat sharing exercise has left splinter parties fuming. This election may also mean demise for a few of them.

Perhaps the worst-hit is Janadhipatya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) which was denied seats by the LDF. The party had earlier been forced to quit the UDF after its leader K. R. Gouriamma was defeated by P. Thilothaman of CPI. The defeat showed that the winning prospects of JSS had considerably diminished.

The party has since split, weakening it further, and Ms. Gouriamma decided not to enter the fray in her old age. The absence of winning prospects for any other candidate from the JSS apparently led to the LDF denying seat to her party.

Even JSS now joins the National Democratic Alliance— after uniting with its splinter group which has already aligned with the NDA; the prospects of a victory are dim. This can eventually lead to the demise of the party.

Former Kerala Congress leader P. C. George is now without a party or seat after LDF ditched him in favour of Kerala Congress led by Francis George.  Mr. George, who had parted ways with Kerala Congress (M), had formed Kerala Congress (Secular), but its chairman T. S. John ousted him recently.

Now, he may contest from Poonjar as an independent, but victory will be difficult to come by in a three-cornered contest with Kerala Congresses aligned with UDF and LDF as opponents. His party candidate had lost his deposit in the Aruvikkara by-election.

Kerala Congress (Balakrishna Pillai) and Kerala Congress (Jacob) have been humbled by LDF and UDF respectively by allocating them only one seat each. The sole Kerala Congress (B) candidate Ganesh Kumar is facing a strong opponent in Parthanapuram—actor Jagdeesh who will be the Congress candidate. Defeat could mean an existential problem for Kerala congress (B).  Party chairman Balakrishna Pillai had opted out of contest sensing that the LDF would not give him a seat. Ganesh Kumar carries a baggage of allegations against him.

Kerala Congress (Jacob) has been given one seat by UDF—Piravom where Minister Anoop Jacob is to enter the fray. This has left party chairman Johnny Nelloor fretting. “We have been ridiculed,” he said. Mr. Jacob may manage to win despite the allegations against him. Still his party’s future is bleak. Mr. Nelloor may drift away.

The LDF has given one seat each to Congress (S), Kerala Congress (Scaria), CMP (Aravindakshan), RSP (Leninist). These parties also face obliteration for all practical purposes if they do not won the seats allocated to them. Congress (S), Kerala Congress (Scaria) and RSP (L) are splinter groups that remained with the LDF when their parents left the Front. CMP (Aravindakshan) group moved into the LDF when CMP split following illness of its founding leader M. V. Raghavan. The party had failed to win a seat in the 2011 Assembly elections. Like the CMP, the other three parties too have only few leaders with visibility. So, it may soon be sunset for them also.

Update: There is one splinter party that is not part of any of the fronts-- RSP (M) led by Babu Divakaran. The party will be fielding Divakaran from Eravipuram.