Candidate selection tough ask for Kerala parties

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 13 (IANS) Candidate selection for the upcoming polls for the 140-member Kerala assembly is going to be tough for most political parties with one candidate calling it quits from electoral politics.

The parties in the Congress-led United Democratic Front are likely to face a tough time selecting candidates given the rebel menace.

The communist parties in the recent past have come out with a general norm that two time legislators will have to bow out. While the CPI-M has made exceptions, the CPI is strict about it.

But since there is no such norm in the Congress, drawing up candidates is a difficult job. Over the years, the Congress begins the job of finalising candidates first but is always the last to finalise their list.

The first round of talks in the Congress party here has already begun with senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad spending two days and speaking to top leaders in the party.

Meanwhile, state Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed, a father figure in the Congress party for close to five decades, told IANS that he has decided to call it a day from electoral politics.

When asked if his son Aryadan Shoukat will replace him in his traditional Nilambur assembly constituency in Malappuram district, he laughed and said: “Don’t you know ours is the Congress party.

“In our party there has been a history of chopping and changing and hence it’s too premature to say anything at the moment,” said Mohammed.

Three-time Congress legislator M.A.Waheed who won from the Kazhakootam assembly constituency under which the Technopark IT campus comes said: “I will be facing my toughest election battle as it is a three-cornered fight.”

Senior CPI-M legislator and former state industry minister Elamaram Karim, who has had two successive terms, told IANS that they will start talks for candidate selection after the party rally led by their politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan ends on Sunday.

In the 2011 polls, the Congress that leads the UDF contested 82 seats and won 38, the CPI-M contested 92 and won 44, the CPI contested 27 and won 13, the Indian Union Muslim League, the second biggest ally of the Congress-led UDF, contested 24 and won 20 seats, and the Kerala Congress (Mani) contested 15 and won nine seats.

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