No woman among CPI nominees

No woman among CPI nominees

LJD leader Sharad Yadav, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy and other leaders during an Opposition parties' meeting to discuss the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) and chalk out future strategy f

As questions were raised over women not figuring among its four candidates in Kerala, the CPI on Friday sought to defend this saying winnability is what matters while choosing its nominees.

They also said a quota low for women would even compel them to field women candidates.

The Left party has identified 53 seats across 24 states and announced candidates for 15 of them, all of them men.

The CPI said the final number of seats it would be contesting could come down or go up depending on the ongoing negotiations with the Opposition parties.

The announced candidates includes four from Kerala, N Shivanna from Karnataka's Tumakuru, Rajen Kshirsagar from Maharashtra's Parbhani and Bansi Satupute from Shirdi. Satupute is the son-in-law of Govind Pansare, who was killed by suspected Hindutva activists.

At a press conference here on Friday, CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy was specifically asked about the absence of women candidates in the list, especially in Kerala.

"We are contesting in limited seats in Kerala and due to this, we are unable to give seats to women. If there are more seats, we can accommodate some women," Reddy said.

When asked whether it meant women would be chosen only in seats in which they are not sure of winning, he said the party has to see winnability.

"If there is reservation for women, then we will also be compelled to field women. Candidates for more seats will be announced and you will see some women contestants, including in Madhya Pradesh," he said.

At the two-day CPI National Executive that ended on Thursday, the CPI has identified seats in states like Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat,Haryana, West Bengal, Manipur and Meghalaya, among others, to field candidates.

It has also set up a 11-member manifesto committee under the chairmanship of National Secretary D Raja.

"Our talks with the RJD is on in Bihar. We will be aligning with BSP and a splinter group of AAP in Punjab. We have already tied up with the DMK in two seats in Tamil Nadu. In Odisha, we will support the Congress," he said.

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