Annie Raja runs for Wayanad, Pannyan for Thiruvananthapuram

The announcement of the party candidates came following a state executive meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, where CPI state secretary Binoy Viswam disclosed the choices.

| Updated: 27 February, 2024 7:47 pm IST
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WAYANAD: In an unexpected development, the CPI has made its candidate selections for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, opting for veteran communist leader Annie Raja to contest from Wayanad, the constituency previously represented by Rahul Gandhi and drawing significant attention over the past five years.

The announcement of the party candidates came following a state executive meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, where CPI state secretary Binoy Viswam disclosed the choices. As an ally of the ruling CPI(M) in the Left Democratic Front, the CPI is set to contest four of the 20 Lok Sabha seats, wielding considerable influence as the second-largest ally within the left front.

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Annie Raja, a prominent female figure in leftist circles, hails from Iritty in Kannur and comes from a Christian family with a strong Leftist background. Currently serving as the general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, she also holds a position as the national executive of the CPI.

Raja’s journey in Left politics began during her school days when she joined the CPI’s student wing, the All India Students Federation, later transitioning to its youth wing, the All India Youth Federation. Remarkably, she secured a spot on the CPI state executive committee at the young age of 22.

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“We are highly optimistic about our prospects in Wayanad; there’s overwhelming support for the CPI in the constituency,” remarked CPI state secretary Binoy Viswam to The New Indian. He further asserted that the people of Kerala are discerning and unlikely to endorse the communal politics advocated by the BJP and RSS.

In the previous Lok Sabha election in 2019, Rahul Gandhi clinched victory in Wayanad by a staggering margin of 4.31 lakh votes, defeating the CPI’s candidate P P Suneer. However, the CPI has recently voiced opposition to Rahul contesting from Wayanad, suggesting he should instead confront the BJP in the Hindi heartland. This sentiment stems from the fact that both parties are now part of the INDIA alliance.

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