The Communist Party of India - Marxist, the lead partner in the Left Democratic Front in Kerala has re-nominated 54 sitting members, including Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and eight ministers. But it has also included 30 new names as candidates for the April 13 elections to the state assembly.
The 91-member list also includes 10 women and seven independents. The party nominated T K Gangadharan as the candidate for Mahe segment in Puducherry. The party is yet to announce candidates for the two more seats it is contesting.
The 87 year-old Achuthanandan came into the election scene after a dramatic turn of events in the last two days.
The CPI-M state committee, which had earlier decided not to field him on 'health grounds' reversed its decision following the intervention of the central leadership, under pressure from the rank and file of the party.
The prominent new faces in the list include DYFI all-India president P Sreeramakrishnan (Ponnani), Democratic Youth Federation of India state secretary T V Rajesh (Kalliassery), Student's Federation of India state vice president A A Rahim (Varkala) and James Mathew (Taliparamba). K Suresh Kurup, who had represented the party in the Lok Sabha from Kottayam, is contesting from Ettumanoor assembly segment this time. Party central committee member E P Jayarajan has been fielded from Mattnur.
The ministers in the fray are Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (Thalassery), Elamaram Kareem (Beypore), A K Balan (Tharoor), S Sarma (Vypeen), T M Thomas Isaac (Alappuzha), G Sudhakaran (Ambalappuzha), M A Baby (Kundara) and P K Gurudasan (Kollam). Speaker K Radhakrishnan is also seeking re-election from Chelakkara.
Sitting women MLAs re-nominated by the party are K K Shyalaja (Peravoor), K K Lathika (Kuttyadi), K S Saleekha (Shoranur) and Ayesha Potti (Kottarakkara).
K R Vijaya (Irinjalakkuda), M C Josephine (Kochi), Suja Soosan George (Puthuppally), C S Sujatha (Chengannur), (Kadeeja Sathar (Mankada) and Sheela Ramani (Kattakkada) are the new faces among women candidates.
Prominent independent candidates backed by the party included Kerala Tourism Development Corporation chairman Cheriyan Philip (Vattiyoorkavu) and two-time Member of Parliament Sebastian Paul (Ernakulam). The list includes seven members of the party secretariat and 17 from the state committee.
The party's decision not to field those who had contested twice could not be totally implemented as it gave concessions to senior ministers and youth leaders.