The chase has begun. Both the ruling and opposition fronts in Kerala have launched their hunt for allies in a bid to bolster their winning chances against a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Assembly elections in April.
With the BJP having bitten into a chunk of their vote-base in the local body polls held last November, the ruling UDF as well as the Left Front are working overtime to woo new members into their respective folds to avoid a repetition of their disastrous showing at the grass-root level.
Kerala Janata Dal(United) Chief MP Veerendra Kumarâ€™s recent warm-up act with CPI(M) politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan at his book-release function in Thiruvananthapuram has set off speculations of the eventual return of the errant son into the Left fold.
Pinarayi preferred to view it as JD(U)â€™s return to its natural state as Socialism had always been part of the Left ideology. Second thoughts -Pinarayi deemed- was the need of the hour.
Whether Veerendra Kumar is willing to take the broad hint dropped right into his lap now remains to be seen.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President VM Sudheeran was all for downplaying the incident by implying political opponents need not always be considered as sworn enemies with whom no discourse ought to be held.
Despite the projected bravado, the Congress sure must have its fingers crossed over possible defections from within the tottering ruling front.
Then there is PC George who managed to make a dent in UDFâ€™s fortunes by siding with the LDF in the local body polls. When asked about a formal induction into the Left Front, George affirmed to The News Minute that he expected an official announcement of the same at the end of Pinarayiâ€™s â€śNava Kerala Marchâ€ť on February 14.
â€śAll constituents within the LDF are in favour of the Kerala Congress (Secular)â€™s induction into its fold. Talks were held with all political parties within the LDF. Very soon we will be part of the LDF,â€ť George confirmed.
Revolutionary Socialist Party MP NK Premachandran however categorically denied shifting loyalties from the UDF to the LDF despite a resolution being taken at their national conference asking the Kerala unit to consider a return to their Left roots.
CPI(M) politburo member MA Baby preferred to term it as an aberration on the part of the Kerala RSP which he hoped would sooner than later re-enter the LDF.
A mistake which the Kerala unit of RSP seems in no hurry to rectify any time soon -going by Premachandran sticking to his guns- thereby blowing off any signs of a possible reconciliation with the LDF.
When questioned about the reported criticism of his partyâ€™s stand by his own party members at the national level, Premachandran refuted all such rumours saying that all that was decided was to discuss the partyâ€™s stand in a plenary session which would be held in a yearâ€™s time.
Till then, Premachandran insisted that status quo will be maintained regarding his partyâ€™s tie-up with the UDF.
The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party is all optimism with its recent coalition with Sree Narayana Guru General Secretary Vellappally Natesanâ€™s Bharat Dharma Jana Seva -an attempt to get all Hindus irrespective of caste under one umbrella.
The only cloud hanging over this merging of the Hindu political forces in the state seems to be the NSSâ€™s repeated brushing aside all attempts to include them in the Sangh Parivarâ€™s embrace.
With NSS General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair not mincing words in asking the BJP to give up its attempts to saffronize the Nair Service Society, BJP State President Kummanam Rajasekharan may have to resort to other tricks than just bending down to touch the feet of all those he wish to woo.
No one would have missed the recent picture of Kummanam prostrating at the feet of Cardinal Baselios Cleemis. Whether for blessings or for pulling the ground beneath the latterâ€™s feet, only time will tell.
One wonders whether that too was part of the RSS attempt to set up a â€śChristian Manchâ€ť to make Christians feel at home with a plausible BJPâ€™s coming to power in the state.
The changing game of political equations is here to stay.