THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress is going to give a test dose for the poll fray with a bit of stardust. If the Congress high command too gets fond of the idea mooted by the state unit, and goes for a star pick from the preliminary list of candidates, then actors Jagadeesh and Siddique would fight it out in Pathanapuram and Aroor segments respectively. In the event of the high command giving the green signal, actor-professor Jagadeesh would cross the poll sword with actor-politician and three-time MLA K B Ganesh Kumar in Pathanapuram. In Aroor, two-time MLA A M Arif is expected to take up the mantle again for the CPM, when actor Siddique arrives with high hopes to upset the applecart. With indications that the Left is also keen on launching a few film stars in the poll scene as contestants, the UDF is also making a try in the same vein. In addition, the game plan of the Congress is to introduce a good number of fresh faces including youth and women in various segments. “There will be a substantial number of fresh faces as Congress candidates,” KPCC president V M Sudheeran told ‘Express.’ The preliminary list of a panel of Congress candidates for various constituencies, including the names of the two film actors, was sent on Tuesday by the KPCC to the high command for scrutiny and comments. Barring Chief Minister Oommen Chandy (Puthuppally) and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala (Harippad), on an average, the names of 3-4 candidates have found place in each segment where the Congress candidates are expected to be in the fray. “It varies in different segments,” said Sudheeran. The names of all the 39 sitting Congress MLAs have been included in their respective seats. KPCC president V M Sudheeran’s name has not been included for any segment, though there are rumours for quite some time that he may also jump into the poll waters.
The panel of names forwarded to the high command was derived from the list forwarded by the DCCs. Additions, on the basis of discussions held between Chandy, Sudheeran and Ramesh, were also included for various segments. The high command would scrutinise the names and mark suggestions. The valuation sheet will be sent back to the state unit. It will be examined by the Congress election panel, slated for March 23, for a final shortlisting. After discussions, the trimmed list will be taken by the Chief Minister, KPCC president and Home Minister to the high command. According to the current plans, they are ex New Delhi on March 27.
The trio will camp in the national capital for three days. They will present their brief to the party central election committee and will also attend the scheduled screening committee meets. The candidates’ list is expected to be released by April 1. However, the urgency of coming up with a final list at the earliest is weighing high with the Congress state leadership, as the CPM and LDF are reportedly planning to release the names of candidates on March 20.
Preliminary List Highlights
- It could be actors fighting off screen in Pathanapuram
- A good number of fresh faces including youth and women as candidates will be introduced
- Except for Puthuppally and Harippad, on an average, names of 3-4 candidates have found place against each segment