Ker CM Pinarayi Vijayan files nomination papers from Dharmadam

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(Eds: Adds details) Kannur (Ker), Mar 15 (PTI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is contesting the Apr 6 assembly polls from the Dharmadam constituency in Kannur district, filed his nomination papers on Monday.

Vijayan, who submitted two sets of papers, arrived at the Kannur collectorate at around 11 AM following COVID-19 protocols.

The 76-year-old marxist leader, wearing a face shield, mask and gloves, was accompanied by party leaders including CPI(M)'s Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan.

In a tweet, Vijayan said, 'Submitted my nomination as Dharmadam's LDF candidate. Development and welfare projects implemented over the last 5 years need to be strengthened further. We will stand with the people to ensure a prosperous Kerala. People wholeheartedly say #LDFforSure and we are confident.' The ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), is hoping to break the jinx of rival fronts coming to power alternately this time.

This is the second time Vijayan is trying his luck from Dharmadam, a picturesqueconstituency spread over Kannur and Thalassery taluks in the district.

The only Politburo member of the CPI(M) to be contesting, this is Vijayan's sixth election to the state Assembly.

Earlier, he had represented Kuthuparamba in Kannur thrice in the House--1970, 1977 and 1991 and in 1996 he was elected from Payyannur.

In 2016, he won from Dharmadam and is trying his luck again from the constituency.

Vijayan was the Power minister in the E K Nayanar cabinet from 1996 to 1998 and was appointed CPI(M) state secretary following the death of incumbent Chadayan Govindan.

In the 2016 assembly polls, the LDF rode to power with a massive majority of 91 seats in the 140-member Assembly and Vijayan was appointed the Chief Minister.

The BJP has fielded C K Padmanabhan, a former state president, the Congress-led UDF had allotted the seat to its ally Forward Bloc.

However, G Devarajan, Forward Bloc chief in Kerala, who was to contest, saidthe party has decided to hand the seat back to the Congress reportedly following directions from the central leadership.

The UDF has not yet announced a new candidate.

'The Dharmadamseat was allotted to us, but we have decided to return the seat to the Congress', Devarajan told media.PTI UD SS PTI PTI