For 108 hours, seat sharing discussions were progressing at several centers – the GRG road Congress war room, Kerala house, AICC headquarters to name a few. Following the final day’s discussions 12 candidates were named. Though the stage was all set for Congress to contest the Lok Sabha election in Kerala, 4 candidates remained undecided.
For the last two days, the seat sharing discussions were regarding who will contest from Wayanad constituency. At Mullappally Ramachandran’s house, a last ditch effort was on to reach an understanding with former chief minister Oommen Chandy. But throwing spanner in the efforts of leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, Oommen Chandy stood firm on his demand to field T Siddique from Wayanad.
Even though Chennithala reiterated that Wayanad has been theirs for years Chandy did not budge. Then came the suggestion to field T Siddique in Vadakara and V V Prakash in Wayanad. Chandy turned a deaf ear to that as well. After 40 minutes of hot discussions, Ramesh Chennithala expressed his dissent and came out of the house. Disappointment over losing the seat was written on his face. Ten minutes late, Chandy and Mullappally came out and entered their vehicles without saying a word to the media.
As Adoor Prakash and Shanimol were decided in Attingal and Alappuzha, the discussions shifted to Vadakara. Chandy and Chennithala returned to Kerala leaving the responsibility of Vadakara on the shoulders of Mullappally. The demand of supporters to field a strong candidate in Vadakara was heard in New Delhi also. Mullappally strongly defended the national leadership’s demand to contest the LS polls. But the candidate remained undecided as supporters grew frustrated.
Efforts to field Bindu Krishna and V M Sudheeran failed and the uncertainty created concerns in the party. Meanwhile, UDF candidates from Malabar region started exerting their pressure as well.
With rumors doing rounds that an unfamiliar candidate was being considered for Vadakara, complaints flooded the AICC headquarters. Muraleedharan reiterated that he would contest only in Wayanad. In the evening, RMP leader K K Rama called up Mullappally and urged to name Muraleedharan in Vadakara. Muraleedharan, who had expressed readiness to contest from Wayanad, was uncertain about Vadakara. Soon Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Al Thangal called up seeking to exert pressure on Muraleedharan to contest from Vadakara. He warned that if the Congress fields a weak candidate in Vadakara, the UDF will lose its ground in Malabar region. Thangal did not stop there. He then called up Oommen Chandy and asked him to ensure that Muraleedharan would contest from Vadakara.
Meanwhile, A K Antony and K C Venugopal backed Muraleedharan. Mullappally told Muraleedharan that ensuring victory in his sitting seat was his personal responsibility. Finally, Muraleedharan agreed to contest from Vadakara.