Kerala

Absence of Ministers Isaac and Sudhakaran in focus

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s decision to enforce the two-term norm in candidate selection is aimed at bringing fresh faces, but it is set to keep away Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac and Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran from the Assembly poll fray.

The absence of Dr. Isaac and Mr. Sudhakaran, two senior leaders, will give a new dimension to the electoral battle in the district, especially in the fight for Alappuzha and Ambalappuzha constituencies. In 2016, Dr. Isaac had won from Alappuzha by a margin 31,032 votes and Mr. Sudhakaran was elected from Ambalappuzha by a margin of 22,621 votes.

The CPI(M) considers both Alappuzha and Ambalappuzha as ‘safe’ seats, but without the sitting MLAs it will become ‘battleground’ constituencies. “Isaac and Sudhakaran have done tremendous development work in their respective constituencies. Both have a clean image and are extremely popular with the electorate. Without them contesting the polls, the electoral battle in these constituencies will be closer,” said a party source.

After the CPI(M) decided not to field those who had contested consecutively and won twice, the party district secretariat last week sought relaxations in the norms to field Dr. Isaac and Mr. Sudhakaran. However, the party State secretariat, which met on Thursday, refused to budge. Further, the State committee on Friday reportedly decided to enforce the norms strictly and exclude two-time contestants.

Dr. Isaac who contested the Assembly polls in 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016 had won on each occasion. Mr. Sudhakaran was elected to the Assembly in 1996, 2006, 2011, and 2016.

Although the party is yet to make a formal announcement on excluding Dr. Isaac and Mr. Sudhakaran, party workers seem to be disenchanted with the decision. On Saturday, posters supporting Mr. Sudhakaran and questioning the party decision appeared at Valiya Chudukad in Ambalappuzha. Reportedly, there were calls in the CPI(M) district secretariat and committee, which met here on Saturday to discuss probable candidates, to field the duo considering the winnability factor.

Of the nine Assembly seats in the district, the CPI(M) will contest in six. As of now, only two sitting MLAs — U. Prathibha (Kayamkulam) and Saji Cherian (Chengannur) — may be in the fray. Other names on the probable list include Daleema Jojo (Aroor), P.P. Chitharanjan (Alappuzha), and H. Salam (Ambalappuzha). The party is yet to take a decision on the candidate for Mavelikara.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 4:50:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/absence-of-ministers-isaac-and-sudhakaran-in-focus/article34008763.ece

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