Kochi: Congress is betting on the goodwill value of late legislator P T Thomas and latent discontent of voters towards the Left Democratic Front over the controversial SilverLine railway project to emerge triumphant in the Thrikkakara Assembly constituency in the May 31 bypoll.
SilverLine is a state-wide issue and will be a prime topic for debate during the bypoll campaign, opposition leader VD Satheesan said.
The UDF candidate will win bagging more votes than what PT Thomas had secured, Satheesan claimed.
The voters' verdict on the anti-people activities of the State government will be reflected in the poll result, the Congress leader said.
Cong not worried about Twenty20-AAP alliance
The party leaders are so hopeful of retaining the seat that they are unperturbed over reports that a joint candidate of the Twenty20 outfit and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely.
Congress is so upbeat about its poll prospects that it has decided to commence the first phase of the election campaign from Tuesday, mere hours after the bypoll announcement by the Election Commission of India.
Top Congress leaders are meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday to zero in on the candidate.
The candidate will be named as soon as possible after taking the nod of the All-India Congress Committee and the United Democratic Front allies, stated Satheesan.
Cong to put up a robust campaign
The Congress and the UDF are ready to face the bypoll in Thrikkakara anytime, he added.
Congress hopes to put up a robust campaign at its stronghold by activating the well-oganised organisational network in the constituency. Crucially, the enduring legacy of the late legislator who was widely admired by voters cutting across all social divides is expected to favour the Congress candidate.
As reported, the Congress is keen to name Uma Thomas, the wife of the late MLA, as the bypoll candidate.
In 2016 and 2021 Thomas won easily from the Thrikkakara seat. In the 2016 polls, Thomas defeated veteran Sebastian Paul of the Left with a margin of 11,966 votes and five years later Thomas increased his victory margin to 14,329 votes. On both occasions, there was a wave in favour of the CPM-led Left front.