The CPI-M, the lead partner in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala has re-nominated 54 sitting members, including Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, eight ministers and 30 new faces as candidates for the April 13 elections to the state assembly.
The 91-member list also includes 10 women and seven independents. The party also nominated T K Gangadharan as the candidate for Mahe segment in Puducherry.
The party is yet to announce the candidates for the two more seats it is contesting. The 87 year-old Achuthanandan came into the election scene after a dramatic turn of events in the last two days. The CPI-M state committee, which had earlier decided not to field him on `health grounds,' reversed its decision following the intervention of the central leadership, under pressure from the rank and file of the party.
The prominent new faces in the list included DYFI all-India president P Sreeramakrishnan (Ponnani), DYFI state secretary T V Rajesh (Kalliassery), SFI state vice president A A Rahim (Varkala) and James Mathew (Taliparamba). K Suresh Kurup, who had represented the party in the Lok Sabha from Kottayam, is contesting from Ettumanoor assembly segment this time.
Party central committee member E P Jayarajan has been fielded from Mattnur. The ministers in the fray are Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (Thalassery), Elamaram Kareem (Beypore), A K Balan (Tharoor), S Sarma (Vypeen), T M Thomas Isaac (Alappuzha), G Sudhakaran (Ambalappuzha), M A Baby (Kundara) and P K Gurudasan (Kollam).
Speaker K Radhakrishnan is also seeking re-election from Chelakkara. Sitting women MLAs re-nominated by the party are K K Shyalaja (Peravoor), K K Lathika (Kuttyadi), K S Saleekha (Shoranur) and Ayesha Potti (Kottarakkara). K R Vijaya (Irinjalakkuda), M C Josephine (Kochi), Suja Soosan George (Puthuppally), C S Sujatha (Chengannur), (Kadeeja Sathar (Mankada) and Sheela Ramani (Kattakkada) are the new faces among women candidates. Prominent independent candidates backed by the party included KTDC chairman Cheriyan Philip (Vattiyoorkavu) and two-time MP Sebastian Paul (Ernakulam).
The list includes seven members of the party secretariat and 17 from the state committee. The party's decision not to field those who had contested twice could not be totally implemented as it gave concessions to senior ministers and youth leaders.