Joyce George will contest from the Idukki constituency

Constituency watch: Kerala

Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] has announced the names of its 15 candidates, five of them Independents. Most notable among the party-backed Independent nominees is Joyce George, legal adviser to the High Range Protection Council, in Idukki. He will take on Youth Congress State president Dean Kuriakose, who has replaced incumbent P.T. Thomas.

The CPI(M) had initially toyed with the idea of backing Kerala Congress (J) faction leader Francis George if he was willing to leave the party and contest as an Independent candidate.

The party had delayed finalising its candidate for the Idukki seat in the hope that Mr. Francis George of the Kerala Congress (M) would leave the party and contest as an Independent backed by the High Range Protection Council.

It chose to plumb for Mr. George only after it became clear that the KC(M) man was not likely to do them the favour. The remaining Independent nominees are former AICC member Peelipose Thomas, who would take on incumbent Anto Antony of the Congress in Pathanamthitta; former civil servant Christy Fernandez, who will take on Union Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs K.V. Thomas in Ernakulam; actor Innocent, who will be pitted against senior Congress leader P.C. Chacko, who has migrated from Thrissur to Chalakudy; and former Congressman V. Abdul Rahman, who will have E.T. Mohammed Basheer, the incumbent of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) as his opponent in Ponnani.

The other party nominees are P. Karunakaran (Kasaragod), P.K. Sreemathy (Kannur), A.N. Shamseer (Vadakara) A. Vijayaraghavan (Kozhikode), P.K. Sainaba (Malappuram), M.B. Rajesh (Palakkad), P.K. Biju (Alathur), C.B. Chandrababu (Alappuzha), M.A. Baby (Kollam) and A. Sampath (Attingal).

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