THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Senior CPI leader and former minister C Divakaran MLA is all set to take on sitting MP Shashi Tharoor of the Congress from Thiruvananthapuram. Adoor MLA Chittayam Gopakumar could be the candidate from Mavelikkara while state executive members Rajaji Mathew Thomas could contest from Thrissur and P P Suneer from Wayanad.
The CPI has come up with the party’s candidate list excluding its lone sitting MP - C N Jayadevan - in Thrissur. Of the four candidates, two are sitting MLAs and one former MLA. The CPI state executive, which met in the morning, and the state council approved the list of party candidates. However, the list will be finalised only after the party central secretariat and national executive give their nod. By fielding Nedumangad MLA C Divakaran from the state capital, the CPI leadership aims for a strong political fight. In view of the payment seat controversy last time, the CPI wanted to ensure a strong political fight this time.
Though the district leadership was planning to field party state secretary Kanam Rajendran from here, Kanam reiterated his unwillingness to contest in the state executive. He said he has got major responsibilities as party secretary and, hence, would not like to contest.
With Kanam refusing to contest, Divakaran’s name came up for discussion. Though the party district council had also proposed the name of district secretary G R Anil, it was not considered. There were suggestions Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam should contest. Earlier, there were reports national leader Annie Raja would contest from the state capital. However, finally the leadership zeroed in on Divakaran.
At a Glance
- Left Front all set to finalise its candidates by Friday
- Congress election committee meeting on Monday stresses winnability the only criteria as per the AICC directive. All sitting MPs may not figure in the final list
- The state-level leaders’ meet of the Janata Dal (Secular), a constituent of the ruling LDF, decides to stake claim on one Lok Sabha seat
- BDJS, a consti-tuent of NDA, forms a five-member committee to finalise the candidates
A change has become inevitable, says Divakaran
Currently, CPI state executive member Divakaran is a three-time MLA. He has served as Food and Civil Supplies Minister in the V S Achuthanandan Government. A senior trade union leader, Divakaran has worked as AITUC state general secretary. “It’s clearly a political fight. I’m confident the Left will be able to win this time. A change has become inevitable; and I’m sure it’s going to be reflected in this election,” Divakaran told ‘Express’.
In Thrissur, the CPI chose not to field its lone MP as the leadership was doubtful about his winning prospects. The name of former minister K P Rajendran was also proposed by the district leadership. However, CPI leadership felt Rajaji would be the right choice.
A former MLA from Ollur constituency, Rajaji Mathew Thomas is now the party’s CPI state executive member. He’s also the editor of party mouthpiece ‘Janayugam’. He has worked as AIYF state general secretary. As vice president the World Youth Federation, Rajaji had represented the country in many international conferences.
The selection was more or less unanimous for Mavelikkara constituency. Though a number of other names, including that of deputy speaker V Sasi were proposed by the district councils, Gopakumar became the natural choice.
A second time MLA from Adoor constituency, Chittayam Gopakumar is now the party’s state council member. He has been working as Cashew Workers Central Council (AITUC) state secretary, Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Federation national council member, KTDC employees union state president.
In Wayanad party assistant secretary Sathyan Mokeri, who contested here last time, was considered as a possible candidate.