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CPI names C Divakaran to fight Shashi Tharoor, 3 others in Lok Sabha polls

Communist Party of India (CPI) on Monday decided to field local leader C Divakaran from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram constituency where author-politician Shashi Tharoor is set to seek re-election for the third time.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 04, 2019 19:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Communist Party of India (CPI) on Monday decided to field local leader C Divakaran from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram constituency where author-politician Shashi Tharoor is set to seek re-election for the third time. (C Divakaran/Facebook)

The junior partner in Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front, Communist Party of India (CPI) on Monday became the first party to finalise its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, naming four leaders for the seats it will contest from the state.

The party has fielded two legislators and dropped its lone MP, from Thrissur, C N Jayadevan. Former minister C Divakaran, currently an MLA, will enter the fray from the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram constituency where author-politician Shashi Tharoor is set to seek re-election for the third time.

Another legislator, Chittayam Gopakumar will be trying his luck from Mavelikkara (reserved) constituency. Senior Congress leader Kodikunnil Suresh is the sitting MP here.

Rajaji Thmoas Mathew has replaced Jayadevan in Thrissur, and in Wayanad, P P Suneer has been fielded.

In Thiruvananthapuram, many names were floating around to take on Tharoor. Student leader Kanhaiya kumar and senior leader Annie Raja were some of them, but the party finally decided to field local leader C Divakaran.

The party’s national council will have to approve the names chosen by the state leadership before the candidacy is finalised.

For both Left parties, CPI(M) and CPI, Kerala is crucial this time because their prospects are not looking good in former pocket boroughs like West Bengal and Tripura.

In the 2014 polls, Thiruvananthapuram had witnessed a tough three-cornered contest in which BJP candidate O Rajagopal came a close second, pushing the CPI’s Bennet Abraham to a third slot. Tharoor had retained the seat with a margin of 15,700 votes. This time, the BJP is yet to announce its candidate from the state capital.

The CPI(M) is likely to announce its candidates by the end of this week after the state committee meet. Two factions of the Janata Dal have also sought one seat each from the LDF.

In opposition UDF, a tiff is continuing following the demand of Kerala Congress (Mani) for one more seat other than Kottayam, which it holds now. Congress is likely to retain all sitting MPs.

PCC chief Mullapally Ramachandran has, however, decided not to contest. The Wayanad seat is also vacant due to the death of M I Shanawas. Out of the 20 seats in the state, UDF has 12 and LDF 8.

First Published: Mar 04, 2019 19:57 IST