From former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to young MLAs Shafi Paramabil and Hibi Eden, the candidate list of the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections has a few surprising names. Oommen Chandy is a sitting MLA of Puthuppally while the two youth legislators, Hibi Eden and Shafi Parambil are MLAs of Ernakulam and Palakkad respectively.
The fourth MLA in the list is Adoor Prakash, a former minister who represents Konni in the Assembly. Seven out of the eight sitting MPs of the party barring Mullappally Ramachadran, are there in the list. Among the MPs, MI Shanavas of Wayanad died in November 2018 after a prolonged illness.
The list was finalised on Saturday by KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran with leaders of the two rival groups in the party-Oommen Chandy of A group and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala of the I group.
The state leaders will hold discussions with the AICC leadership, the party High Command which will take the final call, in Delhi on Monday.
The decision on whether KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran – who is the sitting MP of Vadakara- will contest is totally the call of the High Command as he has been firm on his stand that he is not interested in contesting the polls. Since the CPI (M) candidate for Vadakara is the prominent leader P Jayarajan, the High Command is likely to ask Mullapally to be in the poll fray.
The High Command will also decide on the candidature of Alappuzha sitting MP, KC Venugopal, who had recently been elevated as AICC General Secretary. He has the responsibility of states which go to elections in the first and second phase.
If Venugopal isn’t chosen, District Congress Committee President M Liju is likely to be the candidate for Alappuzha. Liju, however, told TNM that he has no plans to contest and he had informed this to the party leadership for he is more keen to work on the organisational side.
The name of Adoor Prakash is being considered for Attingal constituency. Hibi Eden is a probable candidate for Ernakulam, if not sitting MP, KV Thomas. Shafi’s name is being considered for Palakkad along with VK Sreekantan.
“The leadership is keen that there should be some fresh faces who are young. So we have also learnt that the names of Hibi and Shafi are there in the list. The party doesn’t want to take any chances because the election is much more crucial,” a party legislator told TNM.
He also said that community and gender equations are also taken into account while finalising the candidates. “The final call is that of the High Command after face-to-face discussions with the leaders,” he said.
The state leadership will request the High Command to soften the earlier stance that sitting MLAs won’t be fielded. If this is granted, Oommen Chandy will be contesting most likely from Idukki which would drastically change the nature of the fight for he is the strongest leader of the party in the state.
Former MLA, Joseph Vazhakkan and Youth Congress State President Dean Kuriakose are other names in the list for Idukki. Sitting MP, Kodikkunnel Suresh of Mavelikkara is also in the fray for the same constituency.
The name of VM Sudheeran is being considered for Thrissur along with former MLA, TN Prathapan. Prathapan is currently DCC President of Thrissur.
“I have no clue that my name is there in the list. It is for the party leadership to decide. There could be several names in a panel submitted by the state leadership and it is for the High Command to take the final call,” Prathapan said.
Prominent leader of the A group and former MLA, Benny Behanan is being considered for the Chalakudy seat.
Shanimol Usman and Remya Haridas are the women candidates in the list. Shanimol Usman will either be considered for Attingal instead of Adoor Prakash or from Wayanad. Remya is being considered for Alathur along with CC Sreekumar.
Former head of the KPCC, MM Hassan is also being considered for Wayanad. Youth Congress former state president T Siddique will be fielded either from Vadakara or from Wayanad. Kerala Students Union state president M Abhijith is another option for Vadakara.
Former MP, K Sudhakaran is being considered for Kannur and Subbayya Re for Kasargode. Sitting MP, MK Raghavan is the undisputed choice for Kozhikode.