CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has officially announced the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidates for byelection to five Assembly segments.
CPI(M) leader Sankar Rai will contest from Manjeswaram in Kasaragod. The front has decided to field independent Manu Roy in Ernakulam, DYFI leaders Manu C. Pulickan in Aroor and K.U. Janeesh Kumar in Konni, and Mayor V.K. Prasanth in Vattiyurkavu.
Mr. Balakrishnan announced the candidates after a meeting of available party secretariat members here on Thursday morning. The State leadership had approved the names of all candidates proposed by the district secretariat, except in the case of Manjeswaram.
The Kasargod district leadership had proposed the name of State committee member C.H. Kunhambu, but a decision to field Mr. Rai, who wielded considerable clout among the linguistic minorities, was made following discussions at the mandalam committee. By fielding Mr. Rai, the LDF hopes to bring down considerably the Hindu votes that the BJP could mobilise in Manjeswaram.
Though the LDF suffered a setback in the Lok Sabha election, the front was facing the Assembly byelection with confidence, Mr. Balakrishnan said. He said the front had not considered caste and community equations while deciding candidates for the five seats.
Asked about the alleged reluctance of the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) in fielding a candidate in Aroor, Mr. Balakrishnan refused to make a specific response, but clarified that the front would seek the votes of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam.