Amid opposition by KPCC leadership to his candidature for the May 16 assembly elections on grounds that he faced corruption charges, Kerala Excise Minister K Babu today said he would be able to retain the Thrippunithura seat, if given a ticket.
"If I am fielded again as candidate from the Thrippunithura seat, I have no doubts about my victory. It is 100 per cent certain I will win the polls," Babu told a Malayalam TV channel.
His comments come amid the alleged continuing stand-off between Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC President V M Sudheeran over his candidature besides that of three others in the Congress-led ruling UDF.
Senior Congress leaders, including Chandy, Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala have been staying in New Delhi for the last five days to iron out the differences among them in finalising the Congress candidates for the Assembly polls.
Even after several rounds of meetings of screening committee and discussions with senior leaders, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi, a decision is delayed due to the stand-off between Chandy and Sudheeran over candidature of Babu, state Culture Minister K C Joseph, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash and MLA Benny Behanan.
According to party sources, Sudheeran is dead against giving tickets to the four, arguing that all those who had faced corruption charges and those who had already contested four times should be excluded from the list.
Corruption charges have been levelled against Babu in the bar bribery scam.
While Babu, Joseph and Behanan are close confidants of Chandy, Prakash is a key leader in the 'I' faction of the Congress, owing allegiance to Chennithala.