The CPI (M) has decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections from 16 constituencies in the state. It is learnt that the party Secretariat meeting held on Monday has finalised the candidates for most of the constituencies.
Sitting MPs, A Sampath of Attingal, PK Sreemathi of Kannur, PK Biju of Alathur, MB Rajesh of Palakkad and Joyce George of Idukki, have been chosen to contest again from the same constituencies.
Incumbent MP, actor Innocent from Chalakkudy constituency, according to reports, will be fielded from Ernakulam. Former Rajya Sabha MP and editor of the party mouthpiece Deshabhimani, P Rajeev, it is learnt is likely to be fielded from Chalakkudy.
In Kollam, former District Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP, KN Balagopal will be the party candidate. In 2014, NK Premachandran of RSP defeated CPI (M)'s Polit Bureau member and former Education Minister MA Baby. RSP had been a constituent of the LDF; but parted ways in 2014 due to a rift over sharing of seats. CPI (M) disagreed to give the Kollam seat to RSP, the only district in the state where the party has roots. And the victory was prestigious for the RSP.
This implies that the total 20 seats will get divided between the CPI (M) and the CPI, the largest and second largest constituents of the ruling LDF.
There are a total of 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Janata Dal (S) had been given Kottayam seat. Mathew T Thomas was the JD (S) candidate who lost to Kerala Congress (M)'s Jose K Mani. The JD (S) has three MLAs in the Assembly including Mathew T Thomas. But this time, JDS has been denied a seat while the demand for other allies has also been rejected. In total, there are 13 allies in the LDF.
The CPI (M) and the CPI are the largest and second largest constituents respectively of the Left Democratic Front. The CPI (M) has 58 MLAs and the CPI has 19 MLAs.
The seat allocation for the CPI in the coalition is traditionally four. The party state Executive had finalised its candidates for the four constituencies on Monday.
Though the CPI (M) is not so keen in fielding sitting MLAs, the chance of choosing K Suresh Kurup, MLA of Kottayam, to contest from Kottayam canâ€™t be written off. Sitting MLA of Aroor, AM Ariff's name is doing the rounds as a probable candidate from Alappuzha. Former MP, CS Sujatha is another name considered for Alappuzha.
Three -time MP, P Karunakaran of Kasargode will not contest this time. Instead, former district Secretary KP Satheesh Chandran is likely to be the candidate for the northernmost constituency this time.
The candidates for Vadakara, Kozhikode, Ponnani, Malappuram and Pathanamthitta have also to be finalised.