Problem of plenty! Uphill task for Congress to prune short-list of candidates

Problem of plenty! Uphill task for Congress to prune short-list of candidates
Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy. File photo

New Delhi: Finding the apt candidate for each constituency has become an uphill task for the Congress leadership, with the list presented to the screening committee has multiple names for some constituencies, as many as five for several Assembly segments.

A meeting of the screening committee that began on Monday to vet and trim the list continued late into the night. It will meet again on Tuesday.

Reiterating its directive to field winnable candidates, the high command asked the state unit to set aside factional interests.

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Oommen Chandy, who are part of the screening committee, held discussions with the central leadership.

The screening committee also meet the Congress MPs from the state. Some of the MPs demanded that those who have won five consecutive terms, barring Chandy, or lost twice, be excluded from the list. The committee was also told not to field DCC presidents.

Party sources said the KPCC president still remained tight-lipped over his candidature. K. C. Joseph has expressed interest in shifting to Kanjirappally from Irikkur.

Meanwhile, Youth Congress state president Shafi Parambil and Hibi Eden, MP, demanded adequate representation for youngsters in the list.

UDF lobbies fret and fume over candidate picks

Meanwhile, a feeling of unease has been palpable among various parties in the Front over the division of seats for next month's state poll.

Eight block presidents have submitted a signed memorandum demanding the Congress to take over the Elathur Assembly constituency, instead of fielding a candidate from Mani C Kappen's NCK.

Mani C Kappan
Mani C Kappan (right)

The Muslim League leadership is divided on fielding M K Muneer in Koduvally. In a meeting attended by P K Kunhalikutty and Muneer, local leaders expressed their view that only a candidate from the constituency could win Koduvally.

The constituency has been represented by Karat Razak, who had left the League to successfully contest as an independent with the backing of the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Meanwhile, Kozhikode South constituency committee demanded the League to retain Muneer.

Posters, opposing AICC secretary P C Vishnunath, appeared at several places in Kollam, following rumours of his candidature in that constituency.

In Etumanoor, a section of the Kerala Congress (Joseph) came out in the open against Prince Lukose. They wanted the party district president Saji Manjakkadambil to contest from Ettumanoor.

LJD upset, to hold meet on Wednesday

A piqued Loktantrik Janata Dal will hold a meeting in Kozhikode on Wednesday after the party felt it has been granted only three seats to contest in the state by the LDF leadership. The meeting will decide on further course of action. The party's state committee and parliamentary board will also hold discussions on Wednesday.

The party is furious as Janata Dal (S) has managed to corner four seats. The CPM, however, clarified that the three of these seats were from its kitty, and also that LJD has been awarded a Rajya Sabha seat.

Pointing out the 'injustice' the CPM had meted out to the party, LJD state general secretary Sheikh P Haris said the party had seven assembly seats to contest when it was with the UDF.

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