Oommen Chandy to contest from Puthupally, UDF to field K Muraleedharan from Nemom

Several Congress party members had staged protests against the party’s plan to field veteran Congress leader Oommen Chandy from Nemom.
Oommen Chandy
Oommen Chandy
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After much uncertainty over who will be fielded from the Nemom constituency for the upcoming Assembly Elections, United Democratic Front in Kerala has reportedly decided against fielding Oommen Chandy from the Nemom constituency, and he is likely to contest from Puthupally. K Muraleedharan, a Member of Parliament from Vadakara, is likely to be contested from Nemom.

In order to secure a win from the Nemom constituency, the Congress party in Kerala had earlier considered fielding the veteran Congress leader from there, but this had led to a huge protest by the party workers of the Puthupally constituency. Chandy has been representing Puthupally for the last 51 years and has been winning from Puthupally since 1970.

Dramatic events took place in Puthupally on Saturday as hundreds of Congress workers blocked Chandy’s vehicle as he was returning home from Delhi after discussions over his candidature in upcoming Assembly elections. They raised slogans, asking him not to contest from Nemom and that they will not agree to Oommen Chandy leaving Puthupally. The workers also climbed on the roof of Oommen Chandy's house, holding up Congress flags, and shouted slogans.

Following this, the veteran Congress leader promised that he would not leave Puthupally. Later that evening, there were reports that he would contest from Nemom. On Sunday night, after protests, it was reportedly decided that he will contest from Puthupally and K Muraleedharan would contest from Nemom.

K Muraleedharan has won two consecutive times from Vattiyoorkavu constituency, a constituency located near Nemom, in 2011 and 2016, with a good majority of votes. Later, in 2019, he resigned as an MLA to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Vadakara constituency and won.

When the uncertainty over Nemom began, he had expressed his willingness to contest from there. Nemom is the only constituency that is represented by a BJP MLA. In 2016, O Rajagopal became the only MLA from the BJP to secure a win in the state. He, however, has decided against contesting the elections this time.

In 2011, CPI(M)'s V Sivankutty had won from Nemom, but in 2016, he lost. In 2021 too, CPI(M) has fielded Sivankutty as its candidate from Nemom, hoping to win back the constituency.

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