Congress expedites candidate selection with late-night parleys in Delhi

Congress expedites candidate selection with late-night parleys in Delhi
(From left) Mullappally Ramachandran, Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy in New Delhi.

New Delhi: The Congress leadership has expedited the discussions to find suitable candidates for the 90-odd legislative assembly seats on which the party would be contesting in the Kerala Assembly Election.

Even though KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and Oommen Chandy held discussions that went late into the night on Tuesday, a final agreement over candidates in many seats proved elusive.

While a section of aspirants are pulling the strings to find their names in the list as representatives of different groups, attempts are also being made by others to ensure their candidature on the strength of their influence over national leadership.

With the state leadership making it clear that 50 percent of the seats would be given to women, youth and fresh faces, efforts are on to include suitable candidates from these categories.

Most of the sitting MLAs are set to contest again as the national and state leadership are in their favour.

A few contenders for selection

K C Joseph, the Irikkur legislator may contest from Kanjirapally.

Actor Dharmajan Bolgatty is in the reckoning for Balusserry.

For Thrippunithura a section is in favour of former MLA and minister K Babu. Though former Netherlands ambassador Venu Rajamony's name also cropped up for this seat, many were cold to the proposal.

Either Joseph Vazhakkan or Mathew Kuzhalnadan could be fielded from Muvattupuzha.

Tony Chammany is likely for the Kochi seat.

Padmaja Venugopal is likely to contest from Thrissur again. T N Prathapan, MP, has endorsed her candidature before the screening committee. He has asked the party leadership to take the Kaipamangalam seat from the RSP.

T Siddique may be in the fray from Kalpetta, though K C Rosakutty teacher is in Delhi staking claim for the seat.

Adoor Prakash, MP, has recommended Robin Peter's name for the Konni constituency. He pointed out that he had recommended Robin during the last assembly bypoll but he was denied ticket paving the way for the defeat of the Congress candidate.

Both Bindu Krishna and P C Vishnunath are probables for the Kollam seat.

C R Mahesh is being considered for the Karunagapally constituency.

The leadership of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) has written a letter to the party high command recommending the names of its national secretary Eric Stephen and state president K M Abhijith for inclusion in the candidates list.

KPCC working president K V Thomas has recommended that a general criteria should be put in place for candidature. Those above 70 years of age and those who have won five consecutive elections should not be given seat, but exemption be granted only to former chief minister Oommen Chandy.

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