On Wednesday, the CPI(M) in Kerala released its candidate list for the upcoming state Assembly polls. A total of 83 candidates will be contesting in the elections, which are scheduled to be held on April 6. Of these, four candidates -- Jaick C Thomas, Midhuna P, KM Sachin Dev and Linto Joseph – who have been leaders of the state’s Students Federation of India (SFI), the students’ wing of the CPI(M) and local body leaders, are les than 30 years of age and are the youngest contesting candidates of the CPI(M).
Jaick C Thomas, who gained popularity as the State President of SFI, is contesting from the Puthuppally constituency in Kottayam district. This marks his second time contesting in the Assembly elections. In the 2016 polls, he had gone against Congress veteran and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in Puthupally, which has long been the latter’s stronghold. Though Chandy won with a vote share of 53.7%, Jaick won the second-largest vote share with 33.4%.
Though the Congress has not released its final list of candidates for the election, it must be noted that Puthupally is considered the party’s bastion, with Oommen Chandy winning from there for the past 11 terms, since 1970.
P Midhuna, a 28-year-old Dalit woman, is another young candidate who will be contesting from Wandoor in Malappuram district. Midhuna was the President of the Pallikal gram panchayat in Malappuram during 2015-2020. She had also reportedly created a record by being the youngest panchayat president in the district.
Midhuna had constested and won as the candidate of the Indian Muslim League of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the 2015 local body elections. However, she was suspended from the party two years later after reportedly sharing a stage with minister KT Jaleel, who is part of the LDF. Wandoor, a Scheduled Caste reservation seat, is the sitting seat of Congress MLA AP Anil Kumar, who has held the constituency since 2001.
KM Sachin Dev, the State Secretary of SFI, is the other young leader who will be contesting from Balussery in Kozhikode district, which is the sitting seat of the Left Democratic Front. The 28-year-old is also an advocate, and studied in the Government Law College of Kozhikode. Purushan Kadalundi of CPI(M) is the current MLA from Balussery.
Sachin Dev and Jaick C Thomas have frequently appeared on television news discussions as representatives of the CPI(M) in the past.
Linto Joseph, who is one of the youngest CPI(M) members, will contest from Thiruvambady in Kozhikode. Linto is the current President of the Koodaranhi Gram Panchayat in Kozhikode district. CPI(M) leader George M Thomas is the MLA of the constituency.