Elections 2019: CPI(M) Announces 16 Candidates in Kerala
Eyeing a massive victory over the right wing, the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala has announced the list of its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Out of the 20 constituencies, 16 candidates have been fielded by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] and four by the Communist Party of India (CPI).
Six sitting MPs including one independent, four MLAs and two district secretaries are included in the CPI(M) candidate list that was released on Saturday by party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. P.K.Biju (Alathur), M.B.Rajesh (Palakkad), P.K.Sreemathy (Kannur), Innocent (Chalakudy), A. Sampath (Attingal) and Joice George (Idukki) are the sitting MPs who have got yet another chance to be the represent the people of the state.
The party has also fielded four MLAs for the elections, which include Kozhikode North MLA A. Pradeep Kumar from Kozhikode, Aranmula MLA Veena George from Pathanamthitta, Nilambur MLA P.V. Anwar from Ponnani and Aroor MLA A.M. Ariff from Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituencies. CPI(M) Kannur district secretary, the stalwart who has been leading the party in the district despite repeated attacks from the RSS-BJP, will be contesting from Vadakara constituency and Kottayam district secretary V.N.Vasavan will contest from Kottayam.
Former parliamentarians P Rajeev and KN Balagopal will be part of the race from Ernakulam and Kollam, respectively. Students’ Federation of India national president VP Sanu will contest from Malappuram and KP Satishchandran from Kasargod.
CPI will be contesting in four seats including Thiruvananthapuram, Mavelikara, Thrissur and Wayanad. Sitting MLAs C Divakaran from Thiruvananthapuram and Chittayam Gopakumar from Mavelikara constituency are the CPI candidates representing the LDF. Rajaji Mathew Thomas from Thrissur and PP Suneer from Wayanad constituency are the other contestants from CPI.
While releasing the list, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the candidate list had been formally approved by the LDF state committee and the candidate will no more be party nominees, but they are the face of the Left Front. Commenting on the candidature of the sitting MLAs, Balakrishnan said that such practices were done in the past too.
On being questioned about the probable candidature of Kummanam Rajasekharan, who has resigned from the post of Mizoram Governor, Balakrishnan said that it will not make any impact in the elections and the real fight is between LDF and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
In 2014 elections, the LDF had secured 8 seats and rest of the seats were won by the UDF. The LDF had won in Kasargod, Kannur, Palakkad, Alathur, Thrissur, Chalakudy, Idukki and Attingal.
Here is a profile of the candidates fielded by the LDF for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
Thiruvananthapuram – C. Divakaran
C. Divakaran the State Executive Member of (CPI), and National Working Committee Member of All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC) represents Nedumangadu constituency in the state legislative assembly. He had held the post of Minister for Food and Civil Supplies in the LDF ministry in 2006-2011.
Attingal – A. Sampath
The representative of Attingal constituency, A. Sampath made remarkable interventions in the Parliament over the 15 long years he has been representing the constituency. Sampath, who is a member of the general council of the Centre of Indian Trade Union, had been elected from Chirayinkeezhu Parliamentary constituency in 1996 for the first time, and then from Attingal in 2009 and 2014. He presented 5 private member bills, asked 366 questions and has participated in 192 debates in the 16th Lok Sabha.
Kollam – K. N. Balagopal
K. N. Balagopal is a state secretariat member of CPI(M) and former district committee secretary of Kollam who served as a member of Rajya Sabha in the period 2010-2016. In his tenure, he had introduced numerous private member bills which also included one to amend the Indian Penal Code.
Pathanamthitta - Veena George
Renowned journalist Veena George, who was the first female executive editor in a Malayalam news channel, had entered politics through CPI(M). Veena, who is a Pathanamthitta area committee member and the sitting MLA of Aranmula legislative constituency, pro-actively led the rescue and relief operations during the Kerala floods in 2018.
Mavelikara - Chittayam Gopakumar
The sitting MLA of Adoor, Chittayam Gopakumar, serves as the state council member of CPI. When he had contested for the first time in 2011 in Adoor legislative constituency, he won with a margin of 607 votes. His lead had increased to 25,460 votes in 2016, which clearly shows the mandate from his voters.
Alappuzha - A. M. Arif
A. M. Arif, was elected to the Kerala legislative assembly from Aroor in 2006, 2011 and 2014. He is currently a member of the Alappuzha district committee of CPI(M).
Kottayam – V. N. Vasavan
V. N. Vasavan, the most prominent face in the political sphere of Kottayam, currently serves as the member of CPI(M) Kerala state committee and secretary of Kottayam district committee of CPI(M). Vasavan also serves as the CITU general council member and Rubco director board member. From 2006 to 2011, he represented the Kottayam legislative constituency in the Kerala assembly.
Idukki - Joice George
Joice George had stepped into the political arena through High-range Samrakshana Samithi (High-range Protection Committee) and he was there in the forefront of protests led by the people from high ranges against the Kasturirangan and Madhav Gadgil reports. He had been practising as an advocate in the High Court and Supreme Court for 16 long years and currently serves as the legal advisor of the High-range Samrakshana Samithi. In 2014, he was elected as the MP from Idukki constituency, and he marked his presence in the Parliament with 545 questions participating in 247 debates. Though he is a first-timer in the Parliament, he is among the MPs to have participated in the most number of debates.
Ernakulam – P. Rajeev
State secretariat member of CPI(M) in Kerala and former district committee secretary of Ernakulam, P. Rajeev was a Rajya Sabha member who gathered loads of applause even from his political opponents. He is the first one who raised the issue of the draconian provisions in section 66(A) of the IT Act, which was later struck down. At present, he holds the post of Editor-in-Chief in Deshabhimani.
Chalakudy - Innocent
Innocent, a renowned actor in the Malayalam film industry, entered the political arena as a CPI(M)-supported independent candidate.As an MP, he has got approval for 110 per cent projects under MPLADS, and carried out development works worth Rs 1750 crores in Chalakudy constituency.
Thrissur - Rajaji Mathew Thomas
Rajaji Mathew Thomas, who serves as the state executive council member of the CPI, represented Ollur constituency in the 12th legislative assembly.
Alathur - P. K. Biju
The former all-India president of SFI had been elected to Parliament in 2009 and 2014 from Alathur constituency. P. K. Biju has an attendance above 70 per cent in all sessions of the Parliament, with an overall attendance in 16th Lok Sabha higher than state and national averages. He has participated in 326 debates, and has asked 580 questions. P K Biju has introduced many issues related to agriculture sector in India.
Palakkad - M B Rajesh
MB Rajesh has been elected to Parliament from Palakkad in 2009 and 2014 general elections, and is known for his proactive interventions. Rajesh has a higher attendance level in the parliament than the state and national averages. He is the first person to introduce Kerala's demand to establish IIT Palakkad in Parliament (through a Special Mention on 29-11-2012), and has proactively followed it up in the lower house. He has participated in 196 debates, and have 561 questions in the 16th Lok Sabha.
Ponnani - P V Anwar
P. V. Anvar, who hails from a family that has strong Congress bonds, stepped into the politics as an independent candidate. Gradually, he became close to the Left, and at present, he is representing the Nilambur legislative constituency in the assembly. Anvar - a renowned face through the social service activities in Malabar and outside the country - also serves as the national chairman of Western Ghats Protection Committee.
Malappuram- V P Sanu
All India President of SFI and former Kerala state president of SFI Sanu has led numerous students’ struggles against the anti-student policies of central government.
Kozhikode- A Pradeep Kumar
A Pradeep Kumar, the sitting MLA from Kozhikode North serves as a member of Kerala State Committee. He had been elected to the Kerala legislative assembly in 2006 and 2011 too. His interventions as an MLA to implement PRISM project to modernise education sector, and to raise the health sector to international standards are notable.
Wayanad- P P Suneer – CPI
P. P. Suneer, state executive member of CPI, is a familiar face in Malappuram’s socio-political sphere. Though he had represented LDF in Ponnani parliament constituency earlier, he could not make his way to the Lok Sabha.
Vadakara - P Jayarajan
P Jayarajan, the district committee secretary of CPI(M) Kannur, had defeated and survived the multiple assassination attempts by Sangh Parivar, and is a living symbol of resistance against the political violence of RSS and BJP. He was elected to the Kerala legislative assembly in 2001 and 2006.
Kannur - P K Sreemathi
The incumbent MP from Kannur also holds the role of the Central Committee member of the CPI(M) and the treasurer of AIDWA. She had been elected to Kerala legislative assembly from Payyanur constituency in 2001 and 2006, and has served as the minister for health and social justice during the period 2006-2011 in the LDF government led by V.S. Achuthanandan. She has actively intervened in the parliament in relation to women's reservation bill, and other issues of women. She has participated in 137 debates and has asked 497 questions in the 16th Lok Sabha.
Kasargod- K P Satheesh Chandran
The former MLA of Trikaripur constituency, KP Satheesh Chandran is a known face in the constituency from his SFI days. He serves as the State Committee member of CPI(M) and he was the Kasaragod district committee secretary for 10 years.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.