KERALA

CPI(M) finalises candidates' list



Special Correspondent

Section of cadres restive over exclusion of V.S. Achuthanandan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala CPI(M) committee has finalised the list of candidates for the coming Assembly election, but there appeared to be considerable resentment among a section of the cadres about the exclusion of Leader of the Opposition V. S. Achuthanandan from the list. The CPI(M) State committee, which resumed consideration of the list on Thursday morning, completed the job in the evening without any major change in the list prepared by the party State secretariat. General secretary of the CPI(M) Prakash Karat, who was present both at the State secretariat meeting and the deliberations of the State committee, returned to Delhi as the discussions drew to a close. Fellow Polit Bureau member S. Ramachandran Pillai also left for Delhi in the evening.

Anger

The conclusion of the State committee meeting also saw an unprecedented display of anger over the exclusion of Mr. Achuthanandan by a section of party cadres with demonstrations reported in different parts of the State. Small demonstrations also headed their way to Cantonment House, the official residence of the Opposition Leader, here.

The gates of Cantonment House were closed when the demonstrators arrived there, but the party workers were later allowed to enter without their shouting slogans. Reports of demonstrations have come in from various other places as well.

The visual media went overboard with the event and several party workers could be heard airing their anger over the electronic media right through the evening.

However, senior CPI(M) leaders said the whole issue was being blown out of proportion by the media and that the hubbub would die down once the party launched its election campaign. The list of candidates finalised by the State committee has the names of State secretariat members, Paloli Mohammed Kutty, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, M. A. Baby, E. P. Jayarajan, P. K. Sreemathy, A. K. Balan, S. Sarma, party district secretaries M. Vijayakumar (Thiruvananthapuram) and G. Sudhakaran (Alappuzha) and a few independents among the candidates. Party Central committee member M. C. Josephine appears to have been taken off the fray at the last minute.

The LDF constituents are at a loss to understand the implications of the happenings in the CPI(M), which is slated to begin bilateral discussions with the LDF allies from Friday.

The LDF State committee is scheduled to begin its final round of seat-sharing talks on the conclusion of the bilateral discussions. The LDF panel would continue its meeting on Saturday, both to finalise the Front's seat-sharing and its manifesto.