CPI-M likely to field best team for Kerala polls
The CPI-M led Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala, which is aiming to create history by becoming the first ruling dispensation to retain power in the southern state
Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI-M led Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala, which is aiming to create history by becoming the first ruling dispensation to retain power in the southern state, appears to have decided to field its best team for the April 6 Assembly elections after being stung by reverses in the form of protests by qualified jobless youth and the deep sea fishing fiasco.
As the first step to fielding its best team of candidates in the likely 90 seats out of the 140 Assembly constituencies in Kerala that it will contest, the party's top brass is seriously thinking if they need to drop the big names, as planned earlier.
After the whitewash in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the CPI-M's morale booster came when it was able to hold on to the pole position in the local body polls.
Then there were talks that the party may decide to drop some big names, but following a series of protests, first by the jobless youth, and then over the deep sea fishing fiasco, the CPI-M top brass felt that it has slipped and to cover up that slip, serious discussions have started and the coming days will reveal the composition of the party's list of candidates.
A person in the know of the developments said that the general norm is that the recommendations of candidates come from the 14 district committees of the party and then the final selection is done at the state committee level.
The CPI-M had earlier decided not to field stalwarts and state ministers like Thomas Issac, G. Sudhakaran, A.K. Balan, Kadakampally Surendran, M.M. Mani and T.P. Ramakrishnan.
"The latest news is that all these names are being re-considered and in a day or two things will become clear. Big guns like P. Jayarajan, A. Vijayaraghavan, M.A. Baby and M.V. Govindan, besides other frontline leaders like K.N. Balagopal and V.N. Vasavan are all in the reckoning," said the top source on condition of anonymity.
Seasoned veteran S. Sarma might see himself testing the waters in a new constituency in his home district Ernakulam and might be fielded against Congress stalwart V.D. Satheesan.
With the arrival of two new parties into the Left fold - Kerala Congress (Mani) and Loktantrik Janata Dal - the CPI-M has taken a positive step and is expected to give them adequate number of seats and in the bargain, they would be contesting in lesser number of seats as compared to 2016.
The other thing which they are seriously discussing and debating is should politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who last year quit as state CPI-M secretary, be brought back.
Last year, Balakrishnan had quit on 'health grounds'. However, it was said that he had stepped down after his younger son was arrested over his close links with a friend who was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau, while his elder son is in the dock after a Bihar woman claimed in the court that he had fathered her child.
The Left is expected to name its full list of candidates by the end of this week or early next week. The CPI-M has decided not to flex its muscles against the allies, as they do not want to do any wrong or create any sort of friction, as its only objective is to retain power.