The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said on Friday it will field candidates in only 18 to 19 seats in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections while it will back the strongest candidate who can defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party nominee in the remaining seats. Elections for the 224-member state Assembly will take place on May 12, and results will be announced on May 15.

“In these elections, the main objective of the CPI(M) would be to defeat the BJP,” General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said, according to PTI. “Apart from the seats that we are contesting, we have decided to support the strongest candidate who would be in a position to defeat the BJP. Where we are not contesting, our priority would be to defeat the BJP and communal combination.”

The party made the decision after a three-day meeting of its central committee in New Delhi. Yechury said the party will soon announce the list of its candidates for Karnataka.