Thiruvananthapuram, March 5 (IANS) In what is seen as a stamp of complete dominance by Pinarayi Vijayan, it’s almost certain that five Cabinet colleagues of the Chief Minister along with 18 sitting legislators will in all likelihood be dropped from the list of candidates for the April 6 Assembly elections in Kerala.
Another high profile omission can be the Speaker of the Assembly, P. Sreeramakrishnan. Sources said that the CPI-M has decided to drop all those from the list of candidates who have completed two terms in office.
A source in the know of things said that the final list will be decided in the last round of meeting of the state secretariat on Sunday, and the chances of giving any exemption to anyone is a remote possibility.
Among those who are likely to be left out are present No. 2 in the state Cabinet and Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, Finance Minister Thomas Issac, Culture Minister A.K. Balan, Public Works Department Minister G. Sudhakaran and Education Minister C. Raveendranath.
In the Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet, the CPI-M has 13 members, including Vijayan, and of these five are likely to be dropped.
The shocking omission will be that of Issac, the economist-turned-politician, who was largely instrumental in launching new modules in budgeting and for finding funds outside the budget. He has been a legislator since 2001 and has been the Finance Minister for 10 years spread over two terms.
A proposal as to whether Issac could be given an exemption was shot down, sources said.
Among the legislators who have been dropped are A. Pradeep Kumar and Raju Abraham.
Two women are in the fray for selection as candidates — the wife of Balan, P.K. Jameela, a medical doctor by profession who retired as the directorate of health services, and R. Bindhu, the wife of Left convenor A. Vijayaraghavan, who is also the acting secretary of the Kerala CPI-M.
Another surprise inclusion could be that of popular playback singer Daleema Jojo who will take on Congress legislator Shanimol Usman from the Aroor constituency in Alappuzha district.