Veena Nair’s selection as Vattiyoorkavu candidate can be seen as an attempt by the Congress to increase the number of women candidates on its list.

Congress leader Veena S Nair in white and purple saree looking into the camera and smiling
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 18:07

The Congress has fielded Veena Nair, an advocate and the State Secretary of the All India Mahila Congress in Kerala, as the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate from the Vattiyoorkavu constituency in Thiruvananthapuram. Veena is an advocate and a television anchor and has worked at DD News, Asianet Plus and Kairali TV in Kerala. She is the daughter-in-law of former Uduma MLA Kunjikkannam. 

Veena Nair had contested the 2015 local body elections in Kerala from Sasthamangalam ward of Vattiyoorkavu constituency but lost to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate Bindu Sreekumar. In the past, she has served as a Youth Congress leader as well. This time, she will be going up against sitting MLA VK Prasanth, who is Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate for the upcoming Assembly elections as well. Earlier, speaking to TNM, Prasanth had said that he is looking to secure another term as an MLA from the seat.

Also read: ‘Will win with a margin of 25000 votes’: Vattiyoorkavu MLA VK Prasanth speaks to TNM

The Congress in Kerala has come under fire after the candidate list was released on Sunday. It left several party workers disgruntled. Several senior leaders have been deputed to various districts to mollify protesting party leaders who were denied tickets for the upcoming state Assembly polls scheduled to be held on April 6. 

The Congress on Sunday released its first list of 86 candidates for the election, of the 92 it is contesting, fielding former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from Puthuppally and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala from Haripad.

Also read: Cong list for Kerala polls: Oommen Chandy from Puthupally, Muraleedharan from Nemom

Shortly after the list was announced, Lathika Subhash, the president of Kerala Pradesh Mahila Congress, announced her resignation from the post and tonsured her head in protest against the Congress party for “neglecting female candidates” in this election. Following this, the Congress received flak from various quarters for not fielding enough female candidates. Veena Nair’s selection as the candidate from Vattiyoorkavu could be seen as the Congress party’s attempt to increase the number of women candidates on its list. 

Also read: Lathika Subhash resigns from Congress in Kerala, likely to contest as Independent

A wave of resignations also hit Congress after it announced its candidate list. Several District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents and local leaders have expressed their disappointment over the candidates picked by the party high-command to contest the Kerala Assembly polls.

Also read: Unhappy with the candidate list, Congress leaders in Kerala quit en masse in protest

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