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Kerala assembly polls: CPI (M) denies tickets to 5 ministers, 33 sitting MLAs

Party also underplayed protests over candidates’ selection in some parts of the state, saying minor 'heartburn' was natural and it will die on its own.
By Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 01:34 PM IST
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a protest meet in solidarity with farmers protesting in New Delhi against the Centre's new farm laws in Thiruvananthapuram Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. (PTI Photo)

The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala, on Wednesday, released the list of candidates for April 6 assembly elections, dropping five senior ministers including finance minister Thomas Isaac and 33 sitting legislators.

Many youngsters and 12 women also figure in the list released by the party’s acting secretary, A Vijayaraghavan in the state capital. The party, aiming to return to power, has fielded many fresh faces to beat the incumbency factor, said a party leader.

Out of the 85 seats the party is contesting, 83 candidates were declared, while candidates for the two seats in Mancheswaram in north Kerala and Devikulam in Idukki will be announced later, he said. The list includes Vijayaraghavan’s wife Prof R Bindu, who is seeking election from Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district. But law minister A K Balan’s wife, P K Jameela, failed to find a place after stiff resistance from Tharoor, a seat vacated by him.

Vijayaraghavan also underplayed continuing protests over candidates’ selection in some parts of the state. He said minor heartburn is natural and it will die on its own since the final list is out. He said the party has zeroed in on these candidates after weighing many factors and it was forced to forego some of the seats to accommodate new allies. “In coalition politics, we have to make certain sacrifices,” he said.

Also Read: CM Pinarayi Vijayan: The man at the centre of Kerala’s political battle

Though two-term norm (no seat for legislators who won two terms consecutively) was strictly followed, some ministers were given exemptions like M M Mani and J Mercikutty Amma. When asked about this, the secretary said exemptions were given weighing winnability and other factors. PWD minister G Sudhakaran, law minister A K Balan, education minister C Raveendranath, industry minister E P Jayarajan and finance minister Thomas Isaac have been denied tickets this time. Among the announced candidates, at least five are below 30 years of age and nine are party-backed independents.

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