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2019 polls could make or break the CPI-M in Kerala (Dangal 2019)

IANS  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

Can Chief Minister Vijayan hope for a resounding two days after the results of the polls are announced on May 23? This is the question that has been making the rounds immediately after the April 11-May 19 polls were announced.

will will vote on April 23 to elect 20 members.

State CPI-M is pretty confident that given the performance of the and the manner in which the under Narendra ModiA had treated Kerala, the party will be able to put up a stellar performance similar to that in 2004, when the Left won 18 of the 20 seats.

"We are expecting a similar performance this time and we were able to announce our candidates first and all of them are busy in their campaign. The morale of our cadres is also high," said Balakrishnan.

LDF convenor A. Vijayaraghavan, a former member of both the upper and lower houses of parliament, said things have reached a stage where across the country, several legislators have crossed over to the BJP at some point of time.

"To take on the BJP, what are needed are lawmakers who can be trusted that they will always be there to take on the BJP. For that, the best bet is always the Left forces. Hence the need of the hour today is more of Left members should be there in when we supported the first Also, there was a responsibility that we undertook for the good of the people," Vijayaraghavan added.

One of the major issues that both the Congress-led UDF and the BJP-led NDA will be campaigning against the Left would be the manner in which the handled last year's apex court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the famed

Vijayan knows well that if the result goes in the CPI-M's favour, then he will no doubt be the most in his party. If not, given the precarious position his party is in and Tripura, it could well be the beginning of its demise.

In the 2014 polls, the CPI-M had nine members country-wide, with five of them from and two each from and Overall, Kerala's CPI-M led Left had sent eight MPs to the Lok Sabha - one from the CPI and two Left-supported independents).

The Congress-led UDF won 12 seats.

Knowing very well that the CPI-M in Kerala has a tough task ahead, the party began its campaign in style by announcing the entire list of 20 candidates even before the announced the poll dates.

Fourteen of them will contest on the CPI-M symbol while two would be fielded as LDF- supported independents. The remaining four seats have gone to the CPI leaving the rest of the eight allies without a single seat.

The list of candidates looks very strong as the CPI-M has fielded what it considers the very best, including incumbents (Kannur), (Palakkad), (Alathur) and (Attingal).

P. Karunakaran, who has completed a hat-trick of wins from Kasargode has been dropped and former party has taken his place.

The two Left-supported Independents, Innocent (Chalakudy) and have also been renominated.

The seriousness that Vijayan and the CPI-M are giving to the polls can be seen from the fact that six legislators, including two from the CPI-M - (Kozhikode), - and Left-supported independent are all contesting on the party symbol.

V.N. Vasavan, a former legislator, has been fielded from Kottayam, while two former members, (Ernakulam) and (Kollam) are also in the fray, as is of (Malappuram).

The biggest surprise in the list is party veteran and former P. Jayarajan, who has previously been jailed in two murder cases. He will contest from the Badagara seat.

State Mullapally Ramachandran, a veteran seven who has decided against contesting this time, has slammed the selection of the hugely-tainted Jayarajan.

"What's the message that the CPI-M is trying to send across by fielding such a person? This shows the pathetic situation they are in and shows a complete lack of confidence," Ramachandran said.

Statistically, the LDF has 91 seats in the 140-member assembly and the Congress-led UDF 47 seats. The BJP has one seat and one seat is vacant. However, the voting pattern in Kerala is vastly different in the parliamentary and assembly polls. Thus, it could go either way for the CPI-M.

(Sanu George can be contacted at



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 16:16 IST