The Communist Party of India (CPI), which is also the second-largest ally in the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), released its first list of 21 candidates on Tuesday for the upcoming Assembly Elections. With an effort to put on a happy face, the party will be releasing the names of the remaining four candidates in the near future.
In 2016, the CPI had contested 27 seats in the Assembly polls, out of which they won 19. However, with the Kerala Congress (Mani) arriving from the Congress-led UDF camp, the CPI had to withdraw two of its seats, causing some discontent within the party.
Some members at the party meeting communicated their ire on Tuesday, and the party's state secretary Kanam Rajendran was left 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.
Despite putting on a happy face, all was still not well in the party. This incident was because Rajendran was always accused of succumbing to big brother CPI-M.
An added reason why the party is upset with Rajendran is because of his conclusion to not field any individual who has contested the polls thrice. Due to this, 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 womenfolk of the party, who desired an increased number of seats for women, as only one lady — C.K. Asha — features in the first list of its 21 candidates. Asha is a sitting legislator who was suggested 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 by all likelihood.
(With inputs from IANS)