Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday once again proved that he is the last word in the CPI-M when two of his close aides John Brittas, managing director of Kairali TV, the party backed TV channel and V. Sivadasan, were cleared by the party-state secretariat which met here, as the nominees for the two Rajya Sabha seats.
Like Vijayan, the two also hail from Kannur. Brittas, till Kairali TV channel was launched in the late nineties, was the bureau chief of the party organ — Deshabhimani and was posted in Delhi.
For a short while, Brittas left Kairali TV to join its arch-rival — Asianet TV, only to return after a while.
Brittas was appointed media advisor to Vijayan soon after the latter became the chief minister in 2016 and he quit the post just before the notification for the April 6 Assembly polls, giving signals that he might be a candidate from a CPI-M bastion in Kannur, but it did not happen.
Likewise, Sivadasan is also a close confidant of Vijayan and he rose to the party through student politics. Sivadasan was a previous national president of the Students Federation of India and is presently a member of the powerful State Committee of the CPI-M and works from the state party headquarters, here.
The last date of filing of nominations is April 20 and the last date of withdrawal is April 23 with April 30th the polling day.
The three fresh vacancies arose as the term of three members from Kerala — Congress veteran Vayalar Ravi, Indian Union Muslim League leader P.V. Abdul Wahab and CPI-M leader K.K. Rajesh — ends on April 21.
There was speculation that Raghesh, who is also close to Vijayan, might get a second term and so would former Congress leader Cherian Phillip, but it failed to materialize and the decision was taken on Friday to field Brittas and Sivadasan.
The Congress-led UDF has decided to field Wahab again, who filed his nomination papers on Friday.
With just three seats and three contestants, there is unlikely to be a poll.
Incidentally, the Election Commission after initially announcing the dates of the poll decided to cancel it as a new Kerala Assembly would be there soon after May 2 when the counting of votes happens. The Kerala unit of the CPI-M known for its perseverance in fighting out legal battles, finally emerged victorious after the Election Commission was forced to admit in the Kerala High Court that they will conduct the Rajya Sabha poll to fill in three seats from Kerala which will fall vacant on April 21.