While the Communist Party of India (CPI) had earlier claimed that they would not be allowing sitting MLAs and multiple winners to contest the elections, it seems as if there is a small change in the plan. While the party maintains that three-time winners will not contest the election, 13 out of 19 seats set aside for the party will feature sitting MLAs.
Earlier, the party leadership had claimed that they wouldn’t allow three-time winners to contest, citing it as creating an opportunity for the youngsters to contest the polls. As a result, ministers VS Sunil Kumar, P Thilothaman and K Raju will not be contesting the upcoming polls alongside three other MLAs. With this, the remaining 13 can enter the fray, leading to the question of how this was creating an opportunity for youngsters.
Moreover, the party has given their green signal to allow members with controversies attached to them to return to the fray. The party leadership has informed that a candidate can be allowed to contest despite him/her being attached to controversies and even party disciplinary actions. This would include Chathanoor MLA GS Jayalal, who had faced the party’s disciplinary wrath after he bought the shares of a private hospital in 2019.
Jayalal had been the president of cooperative society Santhwanam, which signed an agreement to buy shares in a private hospital in Kollam worth Rs 5.25 Crore. An advance of Rs 1 Crore had been paid as an advance without the permission of the party, and more concerning was the fact that the source of the money was never revealed. Interestingly, this was happening at a time when the C Achutha Menon Cooperative Hospital (run by the party’s district committee) was shut due to a lack of funds. Another MLA Eldho Abraham had run afoul with both CPI and CPM over the protest march in Ernakulam, leading to the infamous caning incident, where Eldho was reportedly injured with a fractured hand.
Currently, this is the seating plan for the second-largest party in the Left Democratic Front, and it is yet to be seen whether they will field youngsters, as proclaimed, in the remaining six seats.