Irikkur: K C Joseph, the eight-time legislator from Irikkur assembly constituency in Kerala's Kannur district, is keen on standing aside from the poll fray.
If he keeps his word the United Democratic Front would have to field a new candidate and definitely Irikkur will have a new representative in the Kerala Legislative Assembly after state polls later this year.
Joseph, the face of Congress in the farming belts in north Kerala, has been representing the Irikkur seat since 1982.
Among the current MLAs in the 140-member legislature, Joseph is second only to compatriot Oommen Chandy for the longest tenure as the representative from the same constituency. For the last 38 years, the 74-year-old is the Irikkur legislator.
"I wish a new face represented Irikkur this time. The party will decide my future role," Joseph told Manorama News.
Joseph, who is originally from Changanassery in Kottayam district, contested for the first time in 1982 from Irikkur. He was then the state president of the Youth Congress of the Antony faction.
Attesting to his popularity in his bastion, Joseph consistently secured a 7,000 to 17,000 vote margin in all the polls except the one in 2006 when the state witnessed a poll wave in favour of the Left.
He was the state minister for agriculture in the Oommen Chandy government of 2011-16.
Former Kerala chief minister E K Nayanar was once an Irikkur legislator.
Congress may field KPCC general secretary Sony Sebastian or Sajeev Joseph in the upcoming state polls. UDF district chairman P T Mathew and Sreekandapuram municipality chief Dr K V Philomina too are reportedly being considered.