CPI(M)’s view to decide Saseendran’s candidature
The Central leadership of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) may decide on the candidature of Minister A.K. Saseendran after seeking an opinion from Communist Party of India (Marxist) State unit.
Sources said the party was offered three seats — Elathur (Kozhikode), Kottakkal ( Malappuram) and Kuttanad (Alappuzha) — for the coming Assembly polls. But the Elathur constituency appeared to be a bone of contention after a section of leaders in the Kozhikode district executive committee objected to Mr. Saseendran running for the third time in a row. The meeting had recommended four other names to be fielded from Elathur. The faction opposing Mr. Saseendran said that he had been continuously contesting on the party ticket without giving a chance to others.
One of the reasons cited by the leaders is that the Central leaders, including party president Sharad Pawar and general secretary Praful Patel, wanted to get an opinion of the CPI(M) leadership in the State as well.
At a crucial juncture, the sources said Mr. Saseendran had remained adamant to be with the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, when dissident leader Mani C. Kappan was hell-bent on taking the State unit to the Congress-led United Democratic Front camp. That loyalty, many believe, would certainly fetch him the seat. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was likely to favour his candidature for Elathur.
Besides, the sources said that the Elathur Assembly segment was a stronghold of the CPI(M). The party district unit had literally offered the seat on a platter to the NCP, which has a thin voter base in the segment, in the 2006 and 2016 Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the chiefs of the affiliated organisations of the party would meet the party Central leadership in Delhi next week. The State leadership, including president T.P. Peethambaran, is expected to meet the national leaders before they announce the names of the candidates, the sources said.