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CPI-M finalizes Kerala candidates for LS polls

By Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram
March 11, 2009 23:28 IST
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The Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretariat meeting held at the party headquarters AKG Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has finalized the name of party candidates fighting the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.

The party has seized the Kozhikode Lok Sabha seat from the Janata Dal (Secular), which was represented by the Janata Dal state president M P Veerendrakumar. With this, rumblings are in the forefront in the Left Democratic Front with the Revolutionary Socialist Part also coming out with their unhappiness of having not returned the Kollam seat, which was earlier represented by it.

The CPI is also not in happy terms with the issue of the Ponnani Lok Sabha seat with party state secretary Veliyam Bhargavan openly challenging CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan for not having allotted the seat, which was regularly contested by the CPI.

The CPI-M leadership is of the view point that given the political situation, an independent candidate backed by the Left and the PDP of Abdul Nasser Madani would give a winning possibility in the heart land of Muslim politics, hitherto dominated by the Indian Union Muslim League.

The CPI leadership feels that since the Ponnani seat was being contested by the party since ages, it would determine the independent candidate contesting the seat. The CPI- M leadership believes that if the CPI contests the seat then the maximum the party candidate would fetch are 12,000 votes in an electorate that is around 10 lakh strong.

The probable list of candidates released by the CPI-M includes young leaders like national president of the party's student body (SFI) PK Biju, SFI national vice president Sindhu Joy, former SFI national general secretary KK Ragesh, state DYFI president B Rajesh and former SFI state president UP Joseph to name a few.

The list of candidates released by the CPI-M shows that it would give a tough fight to the Congress-led United Democratic Front even though the anti incumbency factor is weighing heavily against the CPI-M and the LDF.

CPI-M leaders told that the Left would win a maximum of seven seats from the state in this election. Sources in the party said that the CPI-M would work to the defeat of all the CPI candidates as there was a bitter war of words between the leaders of both the parties vis a vis the Ponnani Lok Sabha seat.

A CPI-M parliamentarian told that in certain constituencies, the CPI does not even have the strength to put its own men in the election booths and this shows that the party is issuing unnecessary claims for the Lok Sabha seat. The leader also said that CPI-M has been magnanimous in allocating four seats to the CPI in all the Lok Sabha elections, one seat to the Janata Dal and one seat to the Kerala Congress (Joseph).

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Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram