The Communist Party of India (M) state secretariat has nominated former Gujarat cadre IAS officer Christy Fernandez, who was the secretary to former President Prathibha Patil, as the party candidate to contest from the Ernakulam constituency. A formal announcement will be made only after the CPI (M) state committee ratifies the list of party candidates.
Fernandez will take on sitting MP and minister K.V Thomas. Both belong to the Latin Catholic community, which has a sizeable presence in Ernakulam.
Although a formal announcement is due, Fernandez on Thursday met Cardinal George Alanchery in Kochi (Ernakulam). After meeting the Cardinal, the former IAS officer told the media that “the Left has better prospects in Ernakulam. The anti-incumbency factors against the Congress governments in state and the Centre are enough to ensure LDF success, who ever be the candidate.”
He said his meeting had little to do with him contesting in the upcoming election. “It was a routine visit,” he said. Cardinal Alanchery is the head of Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Roman Catholic Church, which is also has a sizeable number of voters from the constituency.
Fernandez is a native of Clappana in Kollam district. A majority of his Latin Catholic community are fishermen.