Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala's leading ruling party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has already shown a positive intent to retain power in the state elections. The CPM party circles are upbeat about the prospects of the Left Democratic Front in the upcoming Legislative Assembly Election after a resounding win in the recent polls to the civic bodies. The party is reportedly planning to field fresh faces in the poll fray so as to avoid any voter fatigue with its incumbent legislators.
The list of probable candidates for the forthcoming assembly election may not have the names of MLAs who have won two consecutive terms.
Civic poll lesson
CPM strategists are well aware of the risks posed by repeat candidates as many such who were in the civic poll fray had tasted defeat.
The practice of relaxing norms for selecting candidates in the name of victory prospects did not prove beneficial in the local body polls held in December 2020. Wherever the leadership conceded the demands raised by local committees for relaxation in candidate criteria, the party most likely faced electoral setbacks.
Many young leaders hope to get the CPM nomination to contest in the state polls as they expect the tried-and-tested candidates or veteran legislators to be rested. However, party leaders have made it clear that the two-term criteria won't be implemented blindly. If the party decides to comply with the norms strictly, several leaders including ministers will be out of the electoral fray.
However, the party is intent on giving prominence to young leaders and new faces while selecting candidates. Moreover, women too will be allotted more seats.
The CPM politburo and central committee meetings are scheduled to be held from January 28 to January 31. Thereafter the state secretariat and state committee are scheduled to meet between February 2 and 4. The guidelines related to candidate selection and preparation for the polls would be discussed in detail at these meetings.
The CPM state secretariat meeting, slated to be held on Saturday, will have preliminary discussions on election-related matters.
The party has already constituted committees at the assembly level across the state. The committees consist of area committee and district committee members and the local secretaries of the assembly segment concerned. The panchayat- and booth-level committees would be constituted before January 31. However, the official discussions regarding candidates would be held only after the announcement of poll dates.
LDF's Kerala Yathra
After the UDF and the NDA, now the CPM-led LDF has also decided to take out Kerala Yathra ahead of the assembly polls. The preparations for the state-wide tour and its dates would be discussed at the LDF state committee meeting on January 27.
Two zonal jathas - south zone and north zone - led by CPM and CPI respectively are likely to be organised in the run up to the polls.
The Kerala Legislative Assembly Election is due in a few months. Most likely it will be held in April, though the current Assembly's term is until late May.
The current Assembly is the 14th since the state came into existence in 1956. The last state election was held on May 16. Voters in Kerala will elect their 15th Legislative Assembly Election in a few months.