Rajya Sabha polls: Cherian Philip, Vijoo Krishnan likely front-runners for CPM nomination


Thiruvananthapuram: Even as the campaigning for the April 6 Legislative Assembly elections gains momentum in Kerala, the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) is considering the selection of candidates to be elected to the Rajya Sabha.

The CPM may consider Left sympathiser Cherian Philip and Delhi-based peasant leader Vijoo Krishnan for the two seats on which the LDF can ensure their victory.

The election to three Rajya Sabha seats from Kerala falling vacant next month will be held on April 12, the Election Commission said on Wednesday.

Of the three Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in the State, two have LDF representatives, and one of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF). Abdul Wahab of the IUML, K K Ragesh of the CPM and Vayalar Ravi of the Congress are retiring on April 21, the Commission said.

The UDF has already re-nominated P V Abdul Wahab of the Indian Union Muslim League for the one seat on which victory is possible, and the CPM is likely to name own candidates for the other two seats. The CPI might demand one of the two, but the CPM ally already has a Rajya Sabha member and hence is unlikely to be allotted another seat.

A final call on the candidates would be made only after a LDF meet on sharing the vacant Rajya Sabha seats.

CPM to claim both slots

CPM leaders said the party is not likely to share the Rajya Sabha seats even if Janata Dal (S) and NCP might demand representation in the Upper House from the State.

The CPM may consider Left sympathiser Cherian Philip for one seat. Though the CPM State secretariat had nominated Philip last time, his name was later dropped after the central leadership intervened and favoured Elamaram Kareem.

The party had then promised Philip a Rajya Sabha seat whenever one falls vacant, and did not consider him as a candidate to the Legislative Assembly election to be held on April 6.

A prominent CPM leader might get the second seat. Though the names of minister E P Jayarajan, T M Thomas Isaac, A K Balan and G Sudhakaran are doing the rounds, CPM is likely to exclude them altogether.

The party may also consider Vijoo Krishnan, a member of the CPM central committee, to the Rajya Sabha. He is the Joint Secretary of the All-India Kisan Sabha.

The possibility of nominating a national leader of the party, too, could not be ruled out.

The notification for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections will be issued on March 24. As per practice, votes will counted in the evening of April 12 after conclusion of polling at 4 pm.

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