Congress candidates’ list in Kerala seems to have run into rough weather with sharp differences cropping up between Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC President, V M Sudheeran, over finalisation of certain candidates for the May 16 Assembly polls.
Even as firefighting efforts are on, party sources said the differences were over the reported “stringent norms” put up by Sudheeran on fielding certain sitting MLAs, including ministers.
According to a media report, Sudheeran insisted that persons facing allegations should not be given seats and those who had contested more than four times should make way for younger and new faces.
However, Chandy, who felt that those close to him were being targeted, was of the opinion that if norms were to be strictly followed, he also would come under its purview and keep away from polls.
Putting up a brave face, Kerala Home Minister, Ramesh Chennithala, who is in New Delhi along with the chief minister and KPCC President, told reporters that “there are no differences of opinion in the party.”
“The congress election committee, headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, will be taking a final decision ... there are no differences. All these are speculatory reports,” he said.
Sudheeran said the screening committee will meet again on April 1 and finalise the list of candidates.
“There is no crisis over finalisation of candidates as is being stated in the media,” he said.
He said he had met Congress Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi and apprised him of the situation. “Everything will go ahead smoothly. Discussions are continuing,” he added.