Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister and late party veteran K Karunakaran’s son K Muralidharan and daughter Padmaja Venugopal are among 83 candidates, whose names were announced by Congress for state assembly polls.
NSUI President Roji M John, his predecessor and former NSUI President Hibi Eden, former state Youth Congress Presidents T Siddique and M Liju, former state President of NSUI P C Vishnunath are other prominent candidates in the list. The list includes names of several young leaders with a delicate balancing act to accommodate various factions of the state unit.
Rahul Gandhi’s imprint is clear on the selection. P T Thoamas has been fielded from Thrikkakara in place of sitting MLA Benny Behanan. Kerala state Congress chief V M Sudheeran had sought denial of ticket to Benny Behanan along with two more saying their names figured in the solar and land scams.
Behanan, a sitting MLA of Thrikkakara, was considered a close confidant of Chandy and the decision to drop him is said to have been taken after Rahul Gandhi’s intervention.
Among others, who have been fielded are former CPI-M MP A P Abdulla Kutty who joined Congress long back. Roji John has been fielded from Angamaly seat and Hibi Eden from Ernakulam. K Muralidharan has been fielded from Vattiyoorkavu assembly seat and Padmaja Venugopal from Thrissur.