THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Putting an end to speculations and confusion, the Congress leadership has finailsed its candidates for the byelections on October 21.
T J Vinodh has been finalised as the party’s candidate for Ernakulam assembly segment, while K Mohan Kumar, Shanimol Usman and Mohan Raj have been selected for the Vattiyoorkavu, Aroor and Konni constituencies, respectively. The final list has been sent to the party High Command and the official announcement is expected by Saturday. Though Vinodh’s name for Ernakulam was almost unanimous, there had been confusion over the other candidates.
Peethambara Kurup, the party’s initial choice for Vattiyoorkavu, was replaced at the last minute following protests at the local level. The party then zeroed in on Kumar, former MLA and a member of the Human Rights Commission.
Though senior Congress leader Adoor Prakash had backed Robin Peter’s candidature in Konni, the District Congress Committee leadership was against it, following which Raj came into the picture. The Nair Service Society also threw its weight behind Raj forcing the KPCC to choose him.
Though a couple of other names were doing the rounds for Aroor, the party leadership chose Shanimol, who lost to LDF’s A M Ariff from Alappuzha in the Lok Sabha polls but posted a commendable lead in Aroor, for the seat. Moreover, Congress had fielded an ‘I’ group in Konni and an ‘A’ group candidate in Aroor last time.
This time, it decided to swap the seats which ensured Aroor for Shanimol and Konni for Raj.
The Indian Union Muslim League has already announced M C Kamaruddin for the Manjeshwar seat.
The LDF has also officially announced its candidates for the bypoll. The front will field Shankar Rai in Manjeshwar, Manu Roy in Ernakulam, DYFI leaders Manu C Pulickal in Aroor, K U Janeesh Kumar in Konni and Ernakulam Mayor V K Prasanth in Vattiyoorkavu. The BJP is expected to announce its list of candidates by Saturday.