Seven political parties, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), have decided to come together to contest the upcoming assembly elections in Rajasthan under the banner of 'Rajasthan Loktantrik Morcha'.
Besides the CPI(M), the other parties in the coalition are Communist Party of India, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, HD Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular), the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and the Marxist Communist Party of India.
"The BJP and the Congress have not worked for the welfare of farmers, workers, Dalits and minorities during their tenures," said CPI(M )leader Ravindra Shukla.
He announced that the CPI(M) has decided to contest 29 out of the 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan.
The alliance partners will meet to discuss seat-sharing within a week, Mr Shukla said.
Though the Rajasthan elections are largely a bipolar contest between the BJP and the Congress, there are three players who could play spoilsport for the two big parties. These are the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party, the soon-to-be-launched new political outfit led by Jat leader and Khinwsar lawmaker Hanuman Beniwal, and now the Rajasthan Loktantrik Morcha.
The seven parties that have now formed the Morcha had a combined vote share of about 1.5 per cent in the 2013 assembly elections in Rajasthan. None of the parties could win a single seat.
The most important constituent of the coalition is the CPI(M), which has considerable influence in the Rajasthan's Shekhawati region, particularly Sikar district. Left-affiliated farmers' outfits organised a massive protest centered around Sikar and adjoining districts in February this year, demanding a farm loan waiver. Besides Sikar, the CPI(M) also has some presence in Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts in the northern part of the state, bordering Punjab.
In the 2008 Assembly elections, the CPI(M) had won three seats in Rajasthan - Dhod and Danta Ramgarh in Sikar district and Anupgarh in Sri Ganganagar district.
The combined vote share of the seven parties in the 2008 elections was a little less than three per cent.
The other alliance member to have some presence in Rajasthan is the Samajwadi Party, whose influence is restricted to eastern districts like Alwar and Bharatpur.
In 2008, the SP won the Rajgarh Laxmangarh seat in Alwar district and came second in the Lalsot seat of Dausa district.
Voting in all 200 constituencies in Rajasthan will take place on December 7.
With inputs from PTI
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