After days of uncertainty, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has finally decided on a candidate to contest against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Kannur’s Dharmadam. The party, which had announced candidates for all seats, except Dharmadam, has chosen Kannur District Congress Committee (DCC) General Secretary C Raghunath. Raghunath filed his nomination as Congress candidate to contest in Dharmadam, on Thursday, a day before the deadline for submitting nominations for the upcoming Kerala assembly poll.
Earlier, the Congress had indicated that a popular leader would be fielded against Vijayan to put up a strong fight.
The seat was given to Raghunath after Congress leader K Sudhakaran declined the offer citing his busy schedule ahead of the Assembly polls in Kannur. "I have conveyed my decision not to contest in Dharmadam to the state leadership and also to the High Command. Since I have to campaign across the Kannur district, being working president of KPCC it's not practical to be a candidate at Dharmadam.” Reportedly it was Sudhakaran who proposed Raghunath for Dharmadam.
Sudhakaran said the DCC had informed the high command and the KPCC to name Raghunath as the candidate in Dharmadam. Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed happiness over the list of Congress candidates in Kerala for the upcoming Assembly elections
KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, however, said he was unaware that Raghunathan had filed for candidature at the Dharmadam block.
Meanwhile, the mother of Walayar siblings also filed her nomination papers on Thursday to fight against Kerala Chief Minister. Vijayan who faced the last assembly polls in 2016 from Dharmadam won with a huge majority of 36,905 votes against his rival Mambaram Divakaran of Congress.
The election for the 140-member Kerala Assembly will be held on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.