Congress announces candidates for 4 Kerala by-elections
Thiruvananthapuram: The central Congress leadership on Saturday cleared four names for the Kerala Assembly by-elections, scheduled on October 21.
While K. Mohankumar, ex-MLA, will contest the Vatiyoorkavu seat, Kochi deputy mayor T.J. Vinod has been named for the Ernakulam constituency, senior party leader Shanimol Usman for Aroor, and former Pathanamthita district party chief A.P. Mohanraj for Konni.
At the Manjeswaram constituency, the fifth seat, the Congress ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is contesting and its candidate has already begun campaigning.
Former chief minister Oommen Chandy, leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala and Kodikunnil Suresh had held discussions following which the final list of candidates was prepared on Friday. The list was approved by Sonia Gandhi on Saturday.
Though the Congress had selected candidate for Vatiyoorkavu and Ernakulam, there were disputes regarding Aroor and Konni.
In Aroor, S Deepu was also in contention along with Shanimol Usman. This was considering the large number of Ezhava voters in the constituency. However, Congress assumes that Shanimol, who had gained a majority in Aroor during the Lok Sabha polls, has better chances of victory.
In Konni, Adoor Prakash had been instating to field his nominee Robin Peter. However, opposition from the DCC and the pressure to filed a candidate belonging to Ezhava community turned the decision in K. Mohankumar’s favour.
Meanwhile, Robin peter, who expressed his dissent over not being named the candidate, has been summoned to Thiruvananthapuram by Ramesh Chennithala.
The by-elections were necessitated because of resignation of three sitting Congress MLAs -- K. Muraleedharan, Hibi Eden and Adoor Prakash -- as well as CPM leader A.M. Ariff. They were elected to the Lok Sabha in May.
Shanimol had contested against Ariff in the Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency. She had garnered more votes in the Aroor Assembly segment.
Monday is the last day for filing of nominations. The CPM has already named its candidates, but the BJP-led NDA's list is yet to be announced.
(With inputs from IANS)