Rajya Sabha polls: CPM, CPI to contest 2 seats

Thiruvananthapuram: The Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) and its ally Communist Party of India (CPI) would contest two of the three seats in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.

The CPI has chosen its Kannur district secretary P Santhosh Kumar as its Rajya Sabha candidate while the CPM has named DYFI National President AA Rahim.

Santhosh Kumar, who was also AIYF national president, is also a member of the CPI's National Council.

Rahim is also a member of the CPM state committee. He was previously the DYFI state secretary. He assumed the post of national president after Mohammad Riyaz vacated the post to join the Cabinet.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) is poised to win the two seats, which it currently holds, considering its strength in the Kerala Legislative Assembly. In other words, the CPM and CPI candidates are certain to win the two seats.

The decision on sharing two of the three seats between the CPM and CPI was taken at the LDF meet on Tuesday afternoon.

The LDF decided to allot the second seat to the CPI on the advice of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, stated its convener A Vijayaraghavan.

The demand of allies LJD, NCP and JDS for a seat was rejected, he added.

The opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) is capable of retaining the lone seat which is set to be vacated by Congress leader AK Antony. 

It is unlikely the LDF will field a candidate for the three seat to force a contest with the UDF.

The elections for three Upper House seats in the Parliament that are set to be vacant from Kerala will be held on March 31.

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