CPI(M) may exclude two-time contestants

The CPI(M) State committee on Friday reportedly chose not to dilute the party line on candidate selection. After much deliberations, it ‘decided’ not to assign seats to members who had contested the Assembly election on two consecutive occasions.

The party had reportedly toyed with the idea of circumventing the ban to infuse the candidate list with governance experience. However, the party seemed to have decided to shed some political baggage and present a relatively fresh face to the electorate.

The CPI(M) was yet to make any formal announcement. However, party insiders said it was likely to contest in at least 87 seats. In 2016, the CPI(M) had fielded candidates in 92 seats. It had reportedly ceded five seats to accommodate the KC(M) and LJD, both new LDF allies.

The recommendation was likely to cost five high-profile CPI(M) Ministers their sitting seats. They were Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran, Law Minister A.K. Balan and Education Minister C. Raveendranath. At least 22 sitting MLAs will also find themselves out of the contest.

A party official said the State committee decision might not be final. The district committees would weigh the suggestion on Saturday. A State committee member would be present at the district-level review meeting.

CPI(M) legislative constituency committees would further vet the proposals. On March 8, the State secretariat would meet to discuss the input from district committees. The Polit Bureau would take a final call on the matter probably next week.

By some accounts, the CPI(M) witnessed objection to the reported candidature of the wife of Mr. Balan, P.K. Jameela, in the Tharoor Scheduled Caste reserved constituency in Palakkad. The purported candidature of the wife of A. Vijayaraghavan, R. Bindu, from Irinjalakuda also drew criticism.

Some argued that the proposals would open the party to the charge of favouring relatives over political experience. They reportedly pointed out that K.U. Arunan, the incumbent Irinjalakuda legislator, did not qualify for the exclusion.

The Alappuzha district committee has reportedly protested the proposal to keep Mr. Isaac and Mr. Sudhakaran out of the fray. A party official said members were free to air their opinions inside committees, and the party did not view it as heresy.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 2:26:44 PM |

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