CPI(M) taps Thomas Issac, KK Shailaja, actor Mukesh as key candidates for 2024 polls

| Updated: 18 February, 2024 7:06 pm IST

KOTTAYAM: In a strategic move aimed at bolstering its prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Kerala, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) has unveiled a formidable lineup of candidates, including prominent figures such as Thomas Issac, KK Shailaja, and actor Mukesh.

With an eye on leveraging the extensive experience and broad outreach of its senior leaders, the CPI(M) is poised to contest the elections with a strong cadre of central committee members. The party’s decision reflects a concerted effort to improve upon its performance from the 2019 polls.

Highly placed sources within the party have confirmed that former finance minister TM Thomas Issac has been selected as the candidate for the Pathanamthitta constituency, while M Mukesh, renowned actor, and incumbent MLA from Kollam, will contest from the Kollam Lok Sabha seat.

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Furthermore, the former health minister of the LDF government, KK Shailaja, has been nominated as the candidate for the Vadakara constituency. These appointments underscore the LDF’s strategy to field its most prominent figures in the electoral fray.
The CPI(M) is aiming to rebound from its setback in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, during which the party secured only one out of the 20 seats in Kerala. Factors such as the Sabarimala protests, a pro-Congress sentiment in the state, and the vigorous campaigning by leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were cited as reasons for the Congress’s landslide victory in Kerala, contrasting with its performance elsewhere in the country.

“We are confident that the people of Kerala will rally behind the LDF in the upcoming polls, as they have faith in our party’s ability to effectively challenge the BJP at the national level,” CPI(M) State Secretary MV Govindan Master said in a statement to the media, highlighting the growing confidence in the party’s platform among minority communities.

In the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency, the United Democratic Front (UDF) has opted to field NK Premachandran once again, citing his established reputation as a grassroots leader both within and outside the Parliament. Premachandran, who emerged victorious in the 2019 polls, defeated the current Finance Minister of Kerala, KN Balagopal, from the Kollam constituency.

The final selection of LDF candidates from the state is set to receive approval from the Polit Bureau on February 26, marking a crucial step in the party’s electoral strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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