Kerala

CPI(M) workers take to the streets against candidate selection

Public protests by local workers and sympathisers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] against candidate selection in the Ponnani and Kuttiyadi Assembly constituencies in north Malabar on Monday are likely to leave the party leadership in an unenviable position.

The protesters expressed their displeasure at their sentiments not being considered while choosing nominees of the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Posters for Siddique

The opposition against the proposed candidature of CPI(M) State committee member and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader P. Nandakumar, a native of Tirur, came out in the open when a large group, including women, took out a procession through Ponnani town. The protesters demanded that local leader T.M. Siddique be made the candidate in Ponnani, one of the sure bets of the LDF in Malappuram. They carried CPI(M) flags and a banner that read “party will correct the leaders; people will correct the party,” and ascribed it to Vladimir Lenin.

Earlier, a group of youngsters from Ponnani reportedly attempted to go to the party district committee office in Malappuram on Sunday, but were dissuaded by the local leaders.

Mr. Siddique, CPI(M) Malappuram district committee member, is preferred by a group in Ponnani over anyone from outside. They said if Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan, the incumbent MLA, was not given another chance, Mr. Siddique should be the candidate. CPI(M) district secretary E.N. Mohandas, meanwhile, said that no party leader or worker was part of the protest.

Thin margin

In Kuttiyadi, the protesters sought a rethink on the LDF’s plan to give the Assembly segment to the Kerala Congress (M) faction led by Jose K. Mani.

According to sources, the local workers were expecting that K.P. Kunjammad Kutty, a former president of the Kozhikode district panchayat, and a popular CPI(M) leader in the region, would get the ticket. LDF nominee K.K. Lathika had lost the seat to Indian Union Muslim League’s Parakkal Abdulla by a thin margin in the 2016 election. Local party workers were confident that they could reverse the verdict this time round.

However, with the arrival of the Kerala Congress (M) faction to the LDF, the seat was proposed to be handed over to the new ally. This disappointed the local cadre and leadership who reportedly expressed their displeasure to the party top brass after a meeting of the district committee on Sunday.

Posters appeared in some parts of the constituency seeking Mr. Kutty’s candidature too.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:12:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-workers-take-to-the-streets-against-candidate-selection/article34023261.ece

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