CPI(M) announces contestants for 10 seats in Thiruvananthapuram

Retains seven sitting MLAs, including Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday announced its candidates for 10 seats in the district, retaining seven sitting MLAs, including Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. The only sitting MLA from the district who did not find a place in the CPI(M) list is B. Satyan who has had two successive terms as legislator from Attingal, as per the party’s policy to not give tickets to those who have successive terms in office.

Among the new faces are G. Stephen in Aruvikkara and O.S. Ambika in Attingal, the only woman candidate of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the district. Stephen (51), the current area secretary of the CPI(M) in Kattakada, had become the President of the Kattakada grama panchayat at the age of 22. He had also served as the chairperson of the development standing committee in the Vellanad block panchayat and as a senate and academic council member of the Kerala University.

Fifty-four-year-old Ambika, a CPI(M) Attingal area committee member, is now in her second term as the President of the Chirayinkeezhu block panchayat. She had also served two terms as the President of Mudakkal grama panchayat.

Mr. Surendran (68) had first won from Kazhakuttam in 1996. Currently holding the portfolios of Tourism, Dewaswom and Co-operation, after winning from the same seat in 2016, he is also a State committee member of the CPI(M). He had also served as the National Vice President of the DYFI and as the district secretary of the CPI(M).

V. Sivankutty, who had previously served as the Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram, will be contesting from Nemom for the third time. While he won against BJP’s O. Rajagopal in 2011, the results reversed in 2016 when Nemom gave BJP a seat in the Kerala Assembly for the first time. He had won from the erstwhile Thiruvananthapuram East constituency in 2006. A State committee member of the CPI(M), Mr. Sivankutty was also the State secretary of the CITU.

C.K. Hareendran, the sitting MLA at Parassala, who will be contesting for the second time, is a district committee member of the CPI(M). He was also the party’s Neyyattinkara area secretary for a long period and the district vice-president of the Kerala Karshaka Sangham. Another sitting MLA contesting for a second term is D.K. Murali in Vamanapuram constituency. A district committee member of the CPI(M), he has also served as the Venjaramoodu area secretary of the party.

Kattakada sitting MLA I.B. Satheesh is also a district committee member of the party and district executive member of the Kerala Karshaka Sangham. Neyyattinkara sitting MLA K. Ansalan, a member of the CPI(M) district committee, had earlier served as the vice chairperson of the Neyyattinkara municipality. Varkala sitting MLA V. Joy had twice served as the President of the Azhoor grama panchayat.

V.K. Prasanth (39), the youngest of the lot, had first won from Vattiyurkavu in the by-election of 2019, wresting it from the UDF. He was then holding the post of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Mayor.

With the CPI(M) declaring its 10 candidates, the picture is clear as far as the LDF’s candidates are concerned in the 14 constituencies in the district. The Communist Party of India (CPI) had declared its two candidates in the district on Tuesday. Current district secretary G.R. Anil will contest from Nedumangad, replacing sitting MLA C. Divakaran. A former district secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha, Mr. Anil is currently the State working committee of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

V. Sasi, the current Deputy Speaker, will contest from Chirayinkeezhu again. He had served on the board of several public sector undertakings and was the Chairperson of the Kerala Agricultural Workers Welfare Fund Board. LDF ally Janata Dal (Secular) has fielded its national general secretary A. Neelalohithadasan Nadar from the Kovalam constituency. Mr. Nadar, who has represented the constituency four times in the past, had also served several terms as minister, holding a variety of portfolios.

The Janadhipathya Kerala Congress, another LDF ally, has fielded Antony Raju from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency. He had won from the erstwhile Thiruvananthapuram West constituency in 1996.

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