Thiruvananthapuram, June 5: Former Kerala Minister and two-time legislator Binoy Viswam was on Tuesday selected by the Communist Party of India (CPI) as its nominee for the Rajya Sabha seat.
Viswam, 63, was the Forest Minister in the V.S. Achuthanandan cabinet from 2006 to 2011. Since then he has not contested any election and has been mostly engaged in party work.
Elections are due this month to elect three new members to the Rajya Sabha. The ruling Left Democratic Front will be able to win two seats and the Congress one, given the number of seats these two rival political fronts have in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.
The CPI-M has started discussions. A key contender for its share of the sea is Cherian Phillip, a former Congress leader and an aide of former Chief Minister A.K. Antony.
Phillip quit the Congress in 2001 and contested as a Left-supported candidate against Oommen Chandy and lost.
The Congress has a problem after strong opposition surfaced against renominating former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien.
The most vocal opposition to Kurien has come from about half a dozen young Congress legislators who demanded that since Kurien has had a long innings in both the Lok and Rajya Sabha, he should pave the way for other Congress leaders.