CPI(M)’s Isaac & Sudhakaran Not to Contest Polls, New Faces in
CPI(M) party workers in Alappuzha district are not happy with the decision to replace Sudhakaran and Thomas Isaac.
After two decades, Alappuzha district in Kerala will witness an Assembly election without the presence of two popular leaders — TM Thomas Isaac and G Sudhakaran. The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), which on Wednesday announced its candidates for the 2021 Kerala Assembly election, has decided to stand by the party policy of not fielding leaders who have contested and won the Assembly election twice consecutively, in order to pave the way for new and young members.
G Sudhakaran is the Public Works Department (PWD) Minister and Thomas Isaac is the Finance Minister in the incumbent Pinarayi Vijayan government — and both of them have already received an exception to the party’s rule for contesting elections before.
Thomas Isaac has won from Mararikulam in 2001 and 2006, and from Alappuzzha in 2011 and 2016. He has been the sitting MLA from the constituency four consecutive times, and has been a Cabinet minister twice — once under VS Achuthanandan, and the second time under Pinarayi Vijayan in the current Cabinet. G Sudhakaran has been the sitting MLA from Ambalapuzha three consecutive times, since 2006.
For the 2021 Kerala Assembly election, the CPI(M) has roped in PP Chitharanjan, the chairman of Kerala State Matsyafed, to contest from the Alappuzha constituency. H Salam, a long-time CPI(M) worker and Ambalapuzha Committee Secretary, will contest from the Ambalapuzha constituency.
Party workers in the district, however, are not happy with the decision to replace Sudhakaran and Thomas Isaac. The CPI(M)’s Alappuzha district committee had earlier requested the party leadership make another exception for Thomas Isaac and G Sudhakaran this time, citing their popularity in the district. The Alappuzha leadership also said that they saw possibilities for a victory if these two leaders contested again.
Both the leaders have been winning from their constituencies by a high margin of votes and are considered undisputed leaders.
Over the last few days, several party workers expressed their discontent over excluding the leaders from the poll race. Posters against the candidature of Chitharanjan and Salam appeared in several parts of the district. The posters claimed that Chitharanjan was corrupt and that Alappuzha doesn't require him as a candidate. The posters asked the CPI(M) leadership to respect people's emotions, and that leaders accepted by the public be made candidates.
Exceptions Made By The Party in The Past
Notably, CPI(M) has previously made exceptions to allowing leaders to contest more than two times. AK Balan, Thomas Isaac and G Sudhakaran were elected to the Assembly for a third time in 2016.
Chitharanjan was a long-time leader of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). He was elected as the Alappuzha Municipal Chairman in 2015. In the last five years, he has been working as the chairman of Matsyafed, the Kerala State Co-operative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd. He is well-known among fisherfolk as a political worker.
G Sudhakaran first contested in 1996 from Kayamkulam and won by more than 2,000 votes.
In the 2001 election, Thomas Isaac won from Mararikulam by more than 8,400 votes, but G Sudhakaran was defeated from Kayamkulam by around 2,000 votes.
Later, in 2006, Thomas Isaac won from Mararikulam by a record margin of 17,679 votes. The same year, G Sudhakaran won with a margin of 11,929 votes from Ambalapuzha.
In 2011, G Sudhakaran won by 16,580 votes from Ambalapuzha, while Thomas Isaac won by 16,542 votes from the Mararikulam constituency — now renamed Alappuzha.
In 2016, Thomas Isaac won by a huge margin of 31,032 votes from Alappuzha while Sudhakaran won by 22,621 votes from Ambalapuzha.
Thomas Isaac was Finance Minister and G Sudhakaran was Minister for Cooperation and Coir in the VS Achuthanandan government.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)
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