THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ruling LDF will field six sitting MPs and six MLAs in the coming Parliament elections. On Saturday, the CPM officially brought out its list of 16 candidates, including two women. The CPI has already declared its list of four candidates with two MLAs.
In addition to six sitting MPs and four MLAs, the CPM list has two former Rajya Sabha MPs, three former MLAs and one new face. Winnability is the sole criterion for selecting candidates, said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, while announcing the list. Compared to last time, when the CPM fielded five independent candidates, this time there are two independents - Joice George in Idukki and P V Anwar in Ponnani. Innocent, who won as a Left independent in 2014, will contest as the party candidate this time.
‘Jayarajan a living martyr of political violence’
Kodiyeri said those who oppose political violence and murder politics should vote for P Jayarajan. Only if a person is convicted for two years in a case will he be ineligible to contest. Being named accused is not a hindrance for contesting. “He’s a living martyr of political violence. RSS activists attacked him when he was at home. Those who oppose political violence will vote for him,” Kodiyeri said.
‘BJP won’t open account; it’s a fight between LDF and UDF’
Kodiyeri justified the LDF decision to field sitting MLAs in the Lok Sabha polls. The CPM is confident of facing the bypoll if the contesting MLAs win the polls. Earlier also MLAs have contested in polls, he said, referring to 2009 when four UDF MLAs were in the fray. “The polls are crucial this time. It’s essential to increase the Left’s presence in Parliament to unseat the Modi government from power. That’s why MLAs were also chosen. The candidates were selected based on the winnability factor,” he said.
The Left has been drawing flak from various corners for fielding only two women candidates - P K Sreemathi and Veena George. When asked, Kodiyeri said seats were allocated to women candidates, keeping the winnability factor in mind. “They are contesting from two sure seats,” he said.
Sanu the youngest; Divakaran eldest
SFI national president 30-year-old V P Sanu will be the baby among the Left candidates, while Nedumangad MLA and senior CPI leader C Divakaran, 76, will be the seniormost. “Students are the ones who always spring surprises. They can make wonders,” said Kodiyeri, adding that Suresh Kurup snatched Kottayam when he was working with the SFI.
In a curious case, the editors of party mouthpieces of both the CPM and CPI are contesting this time. While the CPM has chosen ‘Desabhimani’ Chief Editor P Rajeev to contest from Ernakulam, where he was earlier district secretary, Rajaji Mathew Thomas, Editor, ‘Janayugam,’ will be the CPI candidate from Thrissur. In addition, former television journalist and Aranmula MLA Veena George will contest from Pathanamthitta.