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Thiruvananthapuram: The ruling CPM in Kerala on Tuesday announced its candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. CPM state secretary M V Govindan announced the names of the candidates for the 15 seats that the party would be contesting in the coming polls. The list of candidates; V Joy - Attingal, M Mukesh – Kollam, T M Thomas Isaac - Pathanamthitta, Joyce George – Idukki, A M Ariff - Alappuzha, K J Shine - Ernakulam, Prof C Raveendranath - Chalakuddy, A Vijayaraghvagan – Palakkad, K Radhakirshnan - Alathur, K S Hamsa - Ponnani, V Waseef - Malappuram, Elamaram Kareem - Kozhikode, K K Shailaja - Vadakara, M V Jayarajan - Kannur and M V Balakrishnan – Kasargod.

The CPM list includes one of the ministers in Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet, a sitting MP, a Rajya Sabha MP, three former ministers and two sitting MLAs. With the CPM being electorally decimated in West Bengal and Tripura having no MPs in Lok Sabha, the party’s only hope remains to be Kerala. The CPM had 43 MPs in Lok Sabha in 2004 and at that time the party played the decisive role of “king maker” at the Centre. But in 2019 the CPM tally in Lok Sabha was reduced to just three MPs including two seats from Tamil Nadu thanks to the DMK alliance.

This time around the CPM has fielded its prominent leaders to wrest the sitting seats of Congress in Kerala. It’s a do-or-die battle for the Marxists. With the announcement of CPM candidates, the ruling LDF has finalised the names of the contestants for all 20 seats. The CPI had on Monday announced its four candidates; Annie Raja – Wayanad, V S Sunil Kumar – Thrissur, C A Arun Kumar – Mavellikkara and Pannyan Raveendran –



Thiruvananthapuram.

The Kerala Congress Mani announced its candidate Thomas Chazhikadan for the Kottayam seat last week. While the LDF has taken the lead in announcing its candidates, the opposition Congress-led UDF is yet to finalise their list. The UDF had secured a massive victory in 2019 Lok Sabha polls winning 19 of the 20 seats including Wayanad which elected Rahul Gandhi with a margin of over 4 lakh votes.

However, there is still no confirmation whether Rahul will contest from Wayanad this time. There are reports that the Congress leader might opt out of Wayanad and enter the electoral fray from Telangana and also Amethi. AICC general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal is likely to contest from Alappuzha. Most other sitting MPs of the Congress are likely to contest again from their respective seats. The BJP which is making a strong bid to open its account in Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, is yet to announce its list of candidates. Though it was expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would announce the names of some of the BJP candidates at the party rally held in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, it didn’t happen. 

The BJP is set to field actor Suresh Gopi from Thrissur. There is still no clarity on the Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta constituencies where the party has high hopes. Union minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Nirmala Sitharaman and Kummanam Rajashekharan are the frontrunners for the Thiruvananthapuram seat while BJP state president K Surendran, P C George who joined the party recently are being considered for Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency. Union minister V Muraleedharan will contest from Attingal.




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