Annie Raja does not rule out the possibility of women leaders including her being considered for candidature.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the CPI determined to dispel the belief in political circles that the prestigious Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency is out of their reach, the party is exploring all possibilities to field a formidable candidate this time.
Though formal discussions regarding candidates are yet to take place within the party, the names of prominent leaders like Pannyan Raveendran, Kanam Rajendran and Annie Raja are already doing the rounds. Annie Raja does not rule out the possibility of women leaders including her being considered for candidature.
“Such reports have been there on the eve of polls even earlier. But this time the social media is discussing this issue very actively. No decision has been taken on candidates yet. Our central secretariat and national council meetings are scheduled for March first week,” she said.
Annie Raja said; “Definitely in the changing times, the Left parties should give more representation to youth and women. We expect they will do the maximum.”
She said when compared to other parties, the Left had always accommodated more women. “If you ask me is that enough. I would say no. There is no doubt about that. But we are constantly demanding that more women and youth be brought into parliamentary arena,” she said.
In the wake of LDF’s campaign on equal rights for men and women and the huge success of Vanitha Mathil in the back drop of Sabarimala issue, there is a positive atmosphere for fielding women candidates in the state this time around. “It’s not about me. Any other woman leader could be considered,” she added.
The only time when a woman candidate gave a spectacular performance in the constituency was in 1991, when CPI’s E.J. Vijayammma secured 290,602 votes. However, she lost to A. Charles of the Congress by a margin of 43,670 votes. O Rajagopal came third with just 80,566 votes.
After Pannyan Raveendran’s victory in 2005 by-elections, the CPI faced two back-to-back defeats at the hands of Tharoor. But 2014 is a chapter that the party would not like to remember.
The party does not want to repeat the mistake of fielding a weak candidate like Bennet Abraham who ended up a poor third.