Thiruvananthapuram, March 14 IANS | 7 months ago

The Congress Friday described the Left Front candidates in Kerala as "guest artistes" and wanted to know why the CPI-M has fielded a few non-party workers.

Congress state president V.M. Sudheeran told reporters here that for a party that once had legends like E.M.S. Namboodiripad, today, "it looks their candidates are like guest artistes or those who have defected from other parties. Is it not a shame"?

A look at the Left Democratic Front candidates shows that of the state's 20 seats, the CPI-M will contest just 10 under its symbol, while the CPI has got four and the Janata Dal-S managed to get one seat after tough bargaining.

For the remaining five seats, the CPI-M fielded those who are not party workers.

The biggest surprise in the list is popular character and comedy artiste Innocent who has been fielded from his home town of Chalakudy in Thrissur district.

Fro Ernakulam, the party has roped in former Gujarat cadre IAS official Christy Fernandez, the secretary to former president Pratibha Patil.

In Pathanamthitta, they got AICC member and former president of the Pathanamthitta district Congress committee president Philipose Thomas.

At Ponnani constituency, they fielded former Congress leader V.Abdulrehman and at Idukki, they decided to support Joyce George, an advocate who was the counsel for the Highrange Protection Council, which was fighting the controversial Kasturirangan committee report on Western Ghats.

"The people of the state are eagerly waiting to know from the CPI-M why they decided to go in for such candidates," added Sudheeran.

Bennet Abraham, a doctor who is entering politics for the first time, is contesting on the CPI party symbol in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

Incidentally in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the CPI-M fielded just one independent candidate at Ponnani who lost.

Defending the CPI-M's decision to field independents, CPI-M politburo member S.Ramachandran Pillai told a TV channel here that they took a strategic decision to field independents with the aim of creating a dent on the minority vote bank of the Congress led UDF.

"We will continue to make inroads into the minority communities," said Pillai.

(Posted on 14-03-2014)

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