Congress MPs from Kerala along with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi | File photot: PTI
Kozhikode: A section of Congress Lok Sabha members from Kerala are not aspirational about deepening their foot in New Delhi. They want to focus on Kerala and have started lobbying to secure an Assembly seat in 2026. Though nothing can be guaranteed, they are willing to try their luck by giving away the Lok Sabha seat to their colleagues.
K Sudhakaran, who leads KPCC, is unlikely to contest the polls in 2024 due to the organisational burden. It is almost certain that Congress will find a replacement for him in Kannur in 2024. It is also not definite if he will run for the Assembly in 2026 since he is troubled by health issues.
K Muraleedharan seems to be double-minded about his candidature, suggest his recent statements. He is interested in returning to state politics. He thinks his predecessor Mullappally Ramachandran can contest again from Vadakara. The former MLA is aiming to get his Vattiyoorkavu seat back or secure a constituency in Kozhikode district. Vattiyoorkkavu has been with CPM since the byelection in 2019 and Congress is not confident about many seats in Kozhikode. It is a tough call for Muraleedharan.
Kozhikode MP MK Raghavan is also eyeing an assembly seat in the district.
In spite of his track record in New Delhi, Thrissur MP TN Prathapan has declared that he is not returning to the Lok Sabha. Anto Antony who has been an MP since 2009, also seems to be rerouting. Similarly, Adoor Prakash is trying to regain his dominance in Konni, the Assembly seat he vacated to contest for Lok Sabha. Konni chose LDF in the last two elections.
Shashi Tharoor, who has been in limelight over his special focus on Kerala after defeat in the Congress presidential poll suggests he is also eyeing an assembly seat. It has elated his loyalists and many have already started to push him as the chief minister candidate for Congress. However, things are not easy for him since the state leadership is not favourable to the move.
At this juncture, only eight Congress MPs are probable to seek reelection for Lok Sabha.
(With inputs from Rajesh Koyikkal)