CPM to contest only 10 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala

The opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) is set to field a Janata Dal (S) candidate to contest from Kottayam in the April 10 Lok Sabha election, leaving the CPM with only 10 seats.

The JD(S) state president and former minister Mathew T Thomas said on Thursday that the candidate would be picked after more discussions on Friday. Thomas, the MLA from Thiruvalla, had earlier clarified that he was not in the fray. With Kottayam passed on to its ally, the CPM is set to field candidates only from 10 of the 20 constituencies.

On Thursday, the party formally announced 15 candidates, including five independents. The CPM will field Joyce George as an independent candidate from Idukki where the stage is set for an interesting battle in the backdrop of the Kasturirangan report on environment conservation in the Western Ghats.

The fielding of independents, especially Innocent, has taken many CPM watchers by surprise. Four sitting MPs of the party are returning from their constituencies.

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