Kerala CPI (M) announces its 16 candidates

Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Saturday announced its list of 16 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The party’s ally, the CPI, had earlier announced its four candidates.

With this, the two communist parties are contesting all the 20 seats in Kerala, leaving nothing for the LDF’s eight other allies.

State CPI-M secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the media in the party headquarters here that the CPI-M has decided to field 14 on their symbol, while two of them would be fielded as LDF supported Independents.

“In 2004, the LDF won 18 seats from Kerala and the Left was the backbone of the first UPA government. Our confidence levels are pretty high this time,” said Balakrishnan.

However, in the 2014 polls, the LDF won in eight seats with the CPI-M candidates winning in five, LDF independents winning in two and CPI winning in one.

This time P. Karunakaran who had completed a hat-trick of wins from Kasargode constituency has been dropped and in his place comes former party legislator K.P. Satish Chandran.

The other candidates include sitting members P.K. Sreemathi (Kannur), M.B. Rajesh (Palakkad), P.K. Biju (Alathur) and A. Sampath (Attingal).

Ace comedian Innocent’s name after initial confusions has been cleared and he told the media that last time when he was fielded from Chalakudy, he had no clue of how things would pan out.

“But after a five-year term, I know how and what can be done for my constituency and it will be done,” said Innocent.

Six sitting legislators are being fielded in the forthcoming polls. A. Pradeep Kumar (Kozhikode), A.M. Arif (Alappuzha)and Left Independent legislator Veena George (Pathanamthitta) are contesting on CPI (M) tickets; C. Divakaran ( Thiruvananthapuram) and Chittayem Gopakumar ( Mavelikera) are contesting on CPI tickets; and Left Independent legislator P.V.Anwar’s will contest from the Ponnani Lok Sabha seat.

Sitting Lok Sabha member Joyce George ( Idukki) like in 2014 will contest as an LDF independent.

“What’s the big deal if legislators are asked to contest. Last time too we fielded sitting legislators and this has been done in the past by the Congress also,” said Balakrishnan.

The biggest surprise in the list is party veteran P. Jayarajan, who is a former legislator and was jailed in two murder cases. He will contest from the Badagara seat in Kozhikode district.

“Jayarajan is the biggest victim of violence in politics as his right hand was slashed when he was in his house by the RSS, some time back. He is only facing the trial as the case against him is going on,” said Balakrishnan.

V.N.Vasavan, a former legislator, has been fielded from Kottayam, while two former Rajya Sabha members P.Rajiv(Ernakulam) and K.N. Balagopal(Kollam) are also in the fray.

V.P. Sanu, All India president of the Students Federation of India, has been fielded from Malappuram.

“I am really excited that I have been asked to contest and everyone knows that I am pitted in a constituency that’s the stronghold of the Indian Union Muslim League. But, of late, a change has started at Malappuram and I expect that I can change things through this elections,” said the young Sanu.

The two other CPI candidates include Rajaji Mathew Thomas, who replaced sitting Lok Sabha member from Thrissur, C.N. Jayadevan and P.P. Suneer will contest from the Wayanad seat.