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2024 Lok Sabha Polls

CPI(M) announces candidates for 15 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, four sitting MLAs to contest

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPI(M), the lead partner in the ruling Left Democratic Front, announced candidates for 15 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala on Tuesday, including former state ministers K K Shailaja and T M Thomas Isaac.

Besides four sitting MLAs, the Marxist party also decided to field two of its sitting MPs, one from Lok Sabha and another from Rajya Sabha, as part of its bid to wrest significant number of seats from the Congress-led UDF.

The CPI(M)-led Left front had won just a single seat in the 2019 general elections.

Its coalition partners in the LDF, the CPI and the Kerala Congress (M), had previously named their candidates.

With the announcement by the CPI(M), all 20 LDF candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in the southern state have been declared.

In a notable move, the Left party nominated four of its sitting MLAs, including Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan, to contest in key constituencies.

In the upcoming general elections, both political heavyweights Thomas Isaac and Shailaja will contest from Pathanamthitta and Vadakara seats respectively.

Actor-turned MLA M Mukesh has been nominated from the Kollam seat, currently held by senior parliamentarian and RSP leader N K Premachandran, while V Joy MLA will vie for the Attingal seat.

Sitting MP A M Arif will seek re-election from the Alappuzha seat, while trade union leader and Rajya Sabha member Elamaram Kareem will enter the electoral fray from Kozhikode.

Other candidates announced include former MP Joyce George for Idukki, K J Shine for Ernakulam, former minister C Raveendranath for Chalakudy, CPI(M) politburo member A Vijayaraghavan for Palakkad, DYFI leader V Vaseef for Malappuram, K S Hamsa for Ponnani, the party’s Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan for Kannur, and senior leader M V Balakrishnan for Kasaragod.

Announcing the list of candidates during a press conference held here, party state secretary M V Govindan said the upcoming general election is crucial for the country.

Underscoring that keeping the BJP out of power was the main agenda of secular democratic forces during the Lok Sabha polls, he said that an anti-BJP wave had already been formed in the country.

Alliances have been forged in many states based on the political equations there, with the objective to defeat the saffron party, Govindan said.

The LDF’s secular politics is the only alternative to the ”extreme Hindu majoritarianism” proposed by the BJP and the ”soft Hindutva” stand of the Congress, he added.

Exuding confidence that the party candidates would win all the 20 seats, the Left leader said the Rahul Gandhi factor, which had helped the Congress party win substantial number of seats during the 2019 poll, would not favour them this time.

Although the CPI(M) is part of the INDIA bloc along with the Congress, the Left party’s state secretary did not hold back when he claimed that no one in Kerala believed that Rahul Gandhi would become the next prime minister.

Under the present political scenario, the PM candidate can be decided only after all the secular and democratic parties come together and defeat the BJP.

”The present political circumstance in the country does not favour deciding on the prime ministerial candidate in advance,” Govindan said.

Asked if Gandhi would contest from Wayanad again, the Left leader said choosing a constituency is the decision of respective parties. But, if the slogan is to defeat the BJP, the Congress leader should contest from the Hindi belt, he suggested.

”For that, there is no need to come to Kerala…because the BJP is not going to win a single seat in the state,” he said.

Govindan also rubbished Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that the saffron party would win seats in two digits, saying that such announcements were essential for the BJP leaders to contest in the state.

Source: Press Trust of India

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