CPI releases first list of candidates

NEW DELHI, FEB. 26. The Communist Party of India today released its first list of 16 candidates for the coming Lok Sabha elections and decided to field the party national secretary, Atul Kumar Anjaan, from Ghosi in Uttar Pradesh and Kaushalya Bhaura, widow of Bhan Singh Bhaura, a member of the dissolved Lok Sabha, from Bhatinda in Punjab.

With the Left Front in West Bengal and the Left Democratic Front in Kerala already announcing their list of candidates, the CPI central secretariat today formally cleared the names of Ajoy Chakraborty (Bashirghat), Prabodh Panda (Midnapur) and Gurudas Dasgupta (Panskura) in West Bengal. Mr. Chakraborty and Mr. Panda were members of the dissolved Lok Sabha, while Mr. Dasgupta had lost in the byelection.

In Kerala, the CPI has fielded the former Chief Minister, P.K. Vasudevan Nair (Thiruvananthapuram), C.K. Chandrappan (Thrissur), Chengara Surendran (Adoor) and P.P. Sunner (Ponnani). In Tamil Nadu, the party, which is a part of the Democratic Progressive Alliance, was allocated two seats which will be contested by K. Subbarayan (Coimbatore) and M. Appadurai (Tenkasi-reserved).

In Jharkhand, the party has asked the former MP, Bhubneswar Prasad Mehta, to contest the Hazaribagh seat, held by the External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, in the 13th Lok Sabha. In Assam, Dhurpad Borgohain, a member of the Rajya Sabha whose term is coming to an end, would contest from Jorhat.

Besides Mr. Anjaan, the party has decided to field Rambadan Yadav from Gazipur in Uttar Pradesh while a young tribal leader, Bhupal Das Panikka, would contest the Shahdol seat in Madhya Pradesh.

In neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Ramnath Sarfe would be the party candidate from Bastar.

The first list of the party candidates was cleared by the central secretariat which met here. Subsequent lists were expected to be finalised over the next few days since the CPI plans to contest up to 35 seats overall.

Meanwhile, the party has appointed a committee to draft its manifesto.