Thiruvananthapuram, May 10: Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal and the supremo of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) had said before the Assembly elections in her state that concluded on May 5 that she would also campaign in Kerala to expose the "nexus" between the Left and the Congress.
While the Left and Congress reached an electoral understanding in the southern state, they are fighting each other in Kerala in this year's Assembly election to be held on May 16.
The AITC also fielded candidates in 124 of the 140 constituencies in the state. The local party leadership hoped that over 15 lakh Bengalis working in the state would vote for the party and it could influence the outcome in several seats.
TMC didn't get its own symbol in Kerala polls
But just ahead of the election, it was seen that the AITC is not in a great shape in God's Own Country. The party, in fact, couldn't even get its own 'two flowers and grass' symbol and its candidates were allotted symbols like telephone, ring or even cauliflower!
Kerala HC dismissed TMC's plea
It all happened after the Keral High Court dismissed a petition filed by the TMC's Kerala unit seeking a directive to the Election Commission (EC) to allot the party's symbol to its candidates in the May 16 election. The court observed that the write peitition was not maintainable.
The petition was filed by the state's AITC leaders TM Joseph and Shyam P Ashraf. The petitioner said that despite the EC had suggested that the TMC cabdidates were eligible to be allotted the 'flowers and grass' symbol, Kerala's chief electoral officer did not entertain it.
'TMC not a recognised national party'
According the state's election commission, the AITC is not a recognised national party. It said the party did not fulfil the required criteria as none of its candidates submitted Form-A, as prescribed under paragraph 13 of the symbol order, which needs to be issued by the party's central office.
The state leadership of the party called an emergency meeting on Monday (May 9) and has decided to cover the actual party symbol with other symbols like cauliflower. It has also decided to campaign for their candidates as AITC-backed Independent candidates. The state AITC has also seen a conspiracy in the matter and accused the ruling Congress for the embarrassment.
'Perhaps, central leaders were too busy with Bengal election'
But why did the central leadership of the AITC not issue the required forms? To this, the Kerala leadership said perhaps the leaders were too busy with the Bengal election and hence forgot.
No funding, no campaigning
According to one report in Ananda Bazaar Patrika, the candidates in Kerala are funding their election expenses by themselves since the central leadership did not agree to lend a single paisa.
In fact, not a single party leader from Kolkata also felt the need to campaign for the party in Kerala, leave alone the supremo who had said of visiting the soutehrn state.