Achu Oommen as candidate in Kottayam? Thiruvanchoor’s remarks surprise Congress leaders

Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan
Thiruvanchoor said Achu is too smart as an individual and suggested that there will not be any objection from the party in fielding her as a candidate. File Photo: Manorama

Kottayam: Senior Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on Saturday batted for Achu Oommen as a potential candidate in the Lok Sabha election in a move that has caused confusion within the party.

Addressing TV reporters here, Thiruvanchoor said Achu is too smart as an individual and suggested that there will not be any objection from the party in fielding her as a candidate. He said it is up to the party to make a final decision on matters relating to elections.

He was responding to a question on the rumours that Achu, daughter of former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, might be fielded from Kottayam Lok Sabha constituency as the Congress candidate in the general elections due next year. 

"Our party has certain norms in such matters. But as an individual, Achu is very very smart. She is a little daughter of ours. We are all fully in agreement about it (her candidature), but the decision regarding candidature is a different matter. It has to come through due processes," he said.

Achu, who was active in student politics when she was in college, has stayed away from since then. However, she was active on the campaign front when her brother Chandy Oommen contested as Congress candidate in the recent Puthuppally bypoll. There were even rumours that she could be fielded as the Congress candidate in Puthuppally. During the campaign, she had to file a police complaint after she was subjected to cyber-bullying by alleged Left supporters over her career as a fashion model.

Thiruvanchoor’s remarks have, however, raised eyebrows within the Congress. Leaders Onmanorama spoke to said they did not understand why the former home minister made such statements.

"I have no clue about it. I don't know in what context did he made such comments," a senior leader close to the Chandy family said.

A District Congress Committee (DCC) office-bearer Onmanorama spoke to said he was surprised to hear about Thiruvanchoor's remarks. "It's too early to make any comment on Lok Sabha elections. There has been no discussion at all regarding anyone's candidature," he said.

Kottayam Lok Sabha seat is represented by Thomas Chazhikadan of Kerala Congress (M). He was elected in 2019 as the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate. However, in 2020, the party quit UDF and joined the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF). The Kerala Congress - the faction led by veteran P J Joseph which chose to stay with the UDF -- is likely to stake a claim for the Kottayam seat in the next polls.

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