Kerala Elections: Chandy from Puthupalli and Chennithala from Haripad; Nemom still in limbo
After the marathon discussions regarding the candidate list and other election issues, Kerala’s Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala have returned to Kerala. Attending, a press conference in the state, Chandy said that his name has already been approved for Puthupalli and that no one had asked him to contest in Nemom. While a fanfare was expected to welcome Chandy in Puthupalli, the unexpected mob has organised a protest near his home against him contesting in Nemom.
Dozens of protestors including women have gathered at the locations, with fluxes and banners supporting Chandy’s stay in Puthupalli. One among the protestors has climbed on top of Chandy’s home as part of the protest and claimed that he would attempt suicide if Chandy were moved to Nemom. Meanwhile, former minister KC Joseph added that the party shouldn’t try to chain Chandy to Nemom, as his presence is important throughout Kerala, and thus requires flexibility. Following the announcement of his decision to run from Puthupalli, the same was informed to the man and he came down from the roof.
The former Kerala chief minister had explained that the central leadership had no decision to make on the matter. Meanwhile, Kerala Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said that he would be running from Haripad, and with both seemingly out of the fray, K Muraleedharan seems to be the frontrunner for Nemom. While the latter claimed that the delay in the candidate list is not a good sign, Chennithala clarified that everything would be fine after the list has been announced.
According to KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, the Congress will contest from 91 seats, and 81 names have been fixed. Perambra and Punalur will go to the Indian Union Muslim League. He added that the final list would be made public on Sunday, while some claim that group conflicts are causing the delay. Meanwhile, this delay in announcing the list is causing confusion among the candidates, as they are unable to start the campaigning, trailing behind the LDF candidates.
Meanwhile, Vadakara MP K Muraleedharan has expressed his willingness to stand for election in Nemom unconditionally, but the party leadership is yet to confirm whether sitting MPs can contest in the assembly election. On the other hand, Muraleedharan told media persons that the party doesn’t need much political firepower to take back Nemom, and thus there is no need to spread so much fear around Nemom.