Kerala

CPI(M) moves forward with candidate selection

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] field for the Assembly elections seemed largely set on Tuesday.

CPI(M) district units spent the day engrossed in finalising the panel of potential candidates.

Ideally, the CPI(M) State committee wanted a blend of experience, youth, and broad electoral appeal to inform candidate selection.

However, the rules did not always seem to permeate the grading process. The CPI(M) had to contend with reports of discord trickling in from some regions reportedly.

In Palakkad, the proposal to consider Jameela Balan, Law Minister A. K. Balan's wife, from Tharoor, a Scheduled Caste reservation constituency, purportedly raised eyebrows in the local CPI(M).

Some felt Ms. Jameela's nomination could open the party to criticism of favouring relatives of leaders. Moreover, few CPI(M) leaders from the SC community allegedly felt the party had given them the short shrift.

The BJP had increased its vote share in the constituency by nearly eight per cent in the 2016 Assembly elections. In contrast, the CPI(M) had witnessed roughly a five per cent erosion of votes. So some have argued for a grassroots level candidate to stem a possible BJP surge.

By some accounts, the CPI(M) might field M. B. Rajesh in Thrithala to wrest the constituency from V. T. Balaram of the Congress.

Incumbent MLAs P. K. Sasi and K. Unni are likely to contest again from Shoranur and Ottappalam, respectively. LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan might contest from Malampuzha.

Actor Mukesh (Kollam), Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma (Kundara), P.Aisha Potty (Kottarakara), K. N. Balagopal, Chintha Jerome, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan (Ponnani), Health Minister K. K. Shylaja (Mattannur), Veena George (Aranmula), U. Jinesh Kumar (Konni) and Raju Abraham (Ranni) are the other names heard on the grapevine.

Seat-sharing talks in the LDF are also progressing. CPI is likely to cede Kanjirappally and Irikkur to the KC(M). JD(S) might get Kovalam, Thiruvalla, Chittur and Angamaly seat. LJD is likely to get Koothuparamba,Vadakara and Kalpetta. Janadhipathya Kerala Congress will have to settle for Thiruvananthapuram and possibly Changanassery. NCP is seeking Elathur, Kuttanad and a third seat.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 10:54:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-moves-forward-with-candidate-selection/article33973201.ece

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