Disgruntled Kerala CPI releases first list of 21 candidates
Thiruvananthapuram, March 9, 2021
Trying to put on a happy face, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the second biggest ally in the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala, on Tuesday released its first list of 21 candidates for the coming Assembly elections in the state.
The names of the remaining four candidates will be released in the coming days.
The CPI had contested 27 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls, winning 19 of them. But with the arrival of Kerala Congress (Mani) from the Congress-led UDF camp, the CPI had to part with two of its seats, causing some sort of resentment within the party.
On Tuesday, some members at the party meeting expressed their ire, with the party's state secretary Kanam Rajendran at the receiving end.
"Due to the addition of a new ally, two seats had to be given out, including the one in Irikkur in Kannur district, which we started to contest for the past two elections (losing both times). The other seat -- Kanjirapally in Kottayam district -- is the one where I was the last CPI candidate to win in 1987. What's more important is not the number of seats which a party contests, but the number of seats a party wins," said Rajendran.
Even though Rajendran tried to put up a happy face, things are not that fine in the party as he has been accused of always succumbing to big brother CPI-M .
Another reason why a section of the party is upset with Rajendran is because of the decision to not field any person who has contested the polls thrice. As a result, three state ministers -- V.S. Sunil Kumar, P. Thilothaman and K. Raju -- and three senior legislators -- C. Divakaran, K.S. Bijimol and Mullakara Ratnakaran -- have all been dropped.
Another disgruntlement came from the women folk in the party, who want more number of seats for women, as only one lady -- C.K. Asha -- features in the first list of 21 candidates. Asha is a sitting legislator who has been asked to contest again.
In the first list of 21 candidates, 13 are sitting legislators. Of the remaining four seats for which candidates will be announced soon, sitting legislator Gita Gopi will be renominated in all likelihood.