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Thiruvananthapuram, March 10, 2021
The CPI-M on Wednesday released its first list of 83 candidates, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, for the April 6 Assembly polls in Kerala.
Vijayan, who will contest from Dharmadam in Kannur district. His son-in-law Mohammed Riyaz has also been given the party ticket.
Many others who are known as close aides of Vijayan, including P. Rajeev, K. N. Balagopal, V. N. Vasavan and M. B. Rajesh, have also been given tickets to contest. All four had lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Among others who got the tickets are State ministers K. K Shailaja from Mattannur and K. T. Jaleel from Thavanoor.
In the 140-member Kerala Assembly, the CPI-M, which leads the Left Democratic Front (LDF), will contest 85 seats this time. Two more names will be announced later.
Of the 85 seats, 74 will contest under the party symbol, while nine are Left-supported independents. The list includes four candidates who are below age 30 and there are 12 women candidates.
"Thirty-three sitting legislators, including five present Cabinet ministers have not been renominated this time. Parliamentary and non-parliamentary duties are both equally important and hence those who are not nominated will be engaged in organisational work. The yardstick that was applied was all those who had two terms should stand out, as it was meant to bring in new faces. Then the list has been vetted, discussed and debated at our various party levels, which is an excellent democratic process," party secretary A. Vijayaraghavan said while releasing the list.
The 83 candidates include 42 graduates, 14 post-graduates, two medical doctors, two PhD holders and one architect, besides 28 who have a degree in law.
Another notable inclusion this time is former State Minister and Speaker -- K. Radhakrishnan. The party's Central Committee member M. V. Govindan is also in the list, returning to electoral politics after a gap of 15 years.
Another surprise in the list is none other than the wife of Vijayaraghavan -- R. Bindhu, a professor by profession and a former Mayor of Thrissur Corporation.
The most shocking omission, which came as a big surprise last week, was Finance Minister Thomas Issac, an economist, who will not be contesting this time.
And on account of his failing health, 97-year-old V.S. Achuthanandan, a former Chief Minister, is also not contesting for the first time after 1996.