Kerala

CPI(M) to contest Kerala Assembly elections in 85 seats

CPI(M) acting State Secretary A. Vijayaraghavan announces the list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

CPI(M) acting State Secretary A. Vijayaraghavan announces the list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) will contest the Kerala Assembly elections in 85 seats.

CPI(M) acting State Secretary A. Vijayaraghavan announced the contestants for 83 constituencies. They included nine CPI(M) backed independents. The party would announce the contenders for Manjeswaram and Devikulam Assembly segments later.

Notably, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja, Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan, Electricity Minister M.M. Mani and Devasom Board Minister Kadakampally Surendran are in the fray.

Former Speaker K. Radhakrishnan, M. V. Govindan, P. Rajeev and K. N. Balagopal, all CPI(M) secretariat members, are fighting the elections scheduled for April 6.

Thirty-three incumbent legislators, including five Ministers, will not contest.

Those conspicuous by their absence on the CPI(M) list are Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan, Industries Minister E. P. Jayarajan, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran, Law Minister A. K. Balan and Education Minister C. Raveendranath.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan said the party had not excluded anyone, and said that it considered Parliamentary work and organisational duties equally important. Governmental responsibility was neither the sole criterion for party work nor the only yardstick of political commitment, he said.

Organisational responsibilities were of paramount importance in the CPI(M), he added.

The CPI(M) State committee had decided to pull out members who had contested the Assembly elections twice. It had decided to field a mix of youths, experienced workers and those with professional expertise to create opportunities for fresh faces.

The CPI(M) leadership did not finalise the candidate list in isolation, said Mr. Vijayaraghavan. Unlike the Congress and Bharathiya Janata Party, no anonymous power centre decided for the party, he added.

Describing the selection process, Mr. Vijayaraghavan said that the CPI(M) State committee fixed the template for candidate selection. District committees discussed the pattern set out by the party for the candidate selection process. Following this, district secretariats send their suggestions, including a panel of possible contestants, to the CPI(M) State Committee, he said.

This was followed by the party centre weighing the suggestions and sending the list back to the district committees with suitable amendments. Legislative Assembly committees weighed in with their opinion. Mr. Vijayaraghavan said the State secretariat and Polit Bureau took a final call after vetting the recommendations of lower committees.

In a few places, provincial sentiment had caused some party workers to air their opinion publicly. However, with the CPI(M) finalising the candidate list, it is expected that every worker will rally under the party flag.

The list include 42 candidates with college degrees, 28 enrolled lawyers, 14 postgraduates, two doctorate holders, two doctors and one architect. Of the 83 names, 12 are women and four are under the age of 30.

SFI national president V.P. Sanu will contest the Lok Sabha by-election on the CPI(M) ticket from Malappuram.


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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 1:57:18 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-to-contest-kerala-assembly-elections-in-85-seats/article34034725.ece