NEW DELHI: At least two CPM district committees are believed to have requested the party leadership on Saturday to make an exception to its two-term MLA norm for candidate selection, even as posters openly sympathetic to several CPM ministers and senior leaders who didn’t find a place in the list approved by the party’s state committee on Friday appeared in various places across the state.
Five senior ministers — E P Jayarajan, Thomas Isaac, G Sudhakaran, AK Balan and C Raveendranath — and leaders who enjoy a great degree of respect, like P Jayarajan in Kannur and Raju Abraham in Ranni, are out of the CPM’s list unless the state secretariat, which meets on Monday, decides to heed the pressure from the rank and file. Though quite not on that scale, the growing unrest among party cadres is reminiscent of the pro-Achuthanandan marches in 2016 and 2011 when the party denied the veteran leader a ticket.
The protests were most vocal in Kannur where P Jayarajan, the popular long-time former district secretary of the party, won’t be contesting. Several party supporters vented their angst on social media, saying the party would have to pay a heavy price for denying Jayarajan a seat.
Kannur District Sport Council vice-president Dheeraj Kumar decided to quit his post to register his protest. “P Jayarajan is a living martyr. He has been with the CM from the time of the Thalassery riots. If he cannot understand this, who else can? The CM should intervene and find a lasting solution,” he said.
Jayarajan, however, distanced himself from all protests in his name and warned of legal action against those who persisted. Reacting swiftly, the party expelled Dheeraj from its primary membership.
In Alappuzha, posters appeared in public places, and even on the Martyrs’ Column, protesting against the denial of seats to Sudhakaran and Isaac for one more term. It is also learnt that the CPM Alappuzha district secretariat, which met on Saturday, decided to demand that the state committee revoke the decision on its two-term norm. In Pathanamthitta, too, the district secretariat decided to take up the issue of denial of a ticket to Raju Abraham with the state committee, which is to meet on Monday. The party state committee has decided to allocate Ranni, the sitting seat of Abraham, to Kerala Congress (M).
There have been similar demands for the candidature of speaker P Sreeramakrishnan from Ponnani. Posters appeared in the constituency proclaiming “Urappanu Keralam, Urappayum Venam Sreeramakrishnan’ (loosely translated as “Kerala is for sure but ensure Sreeramakrishnan too”).
“The party has taken the issue of posters against the state committee’s decision not to allow seats for two-term MLAs seriously,” a top CPM leader said. “It was after discussing the matter twice at the state committee meeting that the party decided not to allow yet another chance for two-term MLAs. So there is no chance for the decision to be revoked,” he added.
The decision to field Dr P K Jameela, wife of minister A K Balan, who is very close to CM Pinarayi Vijayan, has also caused widespread outrage among the rank and file. While those like Jameela are getting tickets, the party leadership is ignoring popular faces in the party, party sympathisers say.

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