CPI-M student leader quits ahead of Kerala polls


Thiruvananthapuram : Sindhu Joy, a firebrand student leader of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Thursday quit the party saying she had been sidelined.

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Joy was a national vice president of the Students Federation of India and also an office-bearer of the party’s youth wing. She gave her letter to Thiruvananthapuram district secretary Kadakampally Surendran.

Joy told reporters: “I have got no support from my party since I narrowly lost the 2009 Lok Sabha election against the Congress from Ernakulam.

“Since then I was being sidelined. I decided it is enough and decided to quit the party. I will remain in public life. My future course of action will be decided very soon,” she said.

Speculation is that she will be seen along with Congress leader Oommen Chandy when he begins his campaign in Kottayam district for assembly polls next month.

Chandy said Joy was most welcome to join the Congress.

Joy has been hogging the headlines since 2005 when she led student protests against commercialization of the professional education sector in the state.

That year, she was badly hurt after a grenade was hurled by police at a protest near the Government Engineering College here. For a long time, she used crutches to walk.

In the 2006 polls, she was pitted against then Chief Minister Chandy.

Chandy, who has won every election since the first time in 1970, defeated Joy by 19,863 votes.

Joy was pitted in the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Ernakulam against then Congress legislator K.V. Thomas. Thomas won by around 10,000 votes.