Thrikkakara bypoll: CPM to announce candidate this week

Representational image.

Kochi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is likely to announce the name of the candidate for the Thrikkakara assembly bypoll in four days.

The party is keen to name its own candidate rather than backing an independent who is acceptable to its Left Democratic Front (LDF) allies.

LDF convenor E P Jayarajan is set to hold talks with Minister P Rajeev and M Swaraj, who are members of the CPM's Ernakulam district committee. This committee has convened a meeting on Wednesday following the announcement of the bypoll on Monday by the Election Commission of India.

The district committee will take a call on whether to name a CPM candidate or an independent.

CPM district committee member K S Arunkumar is reportedly the first choice of the party to contest in Thrikkakara.

Swaraj too could be considered if the party decides a strong candidate is required. The former SFI and DYFI state leader had earlier represented the Thripunithura constituency in the Kerala Legislative Assembly.

The bypoll will be held on May 31.

Why CPM is hopeful

The CPM-led political alliance could hit the century mark in the 140-member House if it wins the bypoll.

The CPM is hopeful of wresting the seat which has been a Congress stronghold for a long time. The likely presence of a joint candidate of the Twenty20 outfit and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) may give the ruling LDF an advantage as a split in the opposition votes is to be expected.

As reported earlier, both Twenty20 and AAP are chalking out plans to launch a political front and make a bid to snatch the seat.

The Twenty20 party has already proved it is not a pushover at least in the Thrikkakara constituency where it had secured 10.18% votes in the 2021 state polls, which Congress candidate PT Thomas went on to win.

The bypoll has been necessitated by the death of Thomas last December.

Uma Thomas could play spoilsport

Another factor that may prove favourable to CPM could be the discontent in the Congress ranks. A few veteran Congress leaders with base in Ernakulam are reportedly eyeing the seat.

However, the CPM's hopes could be dashed if Uma Thomas, the wife of the deceased legislator, is named as the Congress candidate.

The counting of votes will take place on June 3, three days after the voting. The notification for the bypoll will be issued on May 4. Nominations could be submitted till May 11.

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