THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress will be fielding three sitting MLAs in the general elections. They are: Adoor Prakash in Attingal, Shafi Parambil in Palakkad and A P Anil Kumar in Alathur. If Shafi wins the seat, the Congress leadership will field Palakkad DCC president V K Sreekantan in the constituency.
A Congress source told Express the list will also figure AICC general secretary and former chief minister Oommen Chandy from Idukki, which may be shifted to Kottayam based on the final decision of the Kerala Congress. Party leadership is also putting pressure on senior leader V M Sudheeran to contest from Thrissur, his home district, while UDF convenor Benny Behanan is almost certain for Chalakkudi.
A senior Congress leader told Express: “Benny Behanan is the apt candidate for Chalakkudi as he is from the prominent Jacobite faction, which is dominant in the constituency, and if V M Sudheeran contests from neighbouring Thrissur it will be an added advantage for Benny”.
The party will field Shanimol Usman from Alappuzha as the party considers her as the best bet against A M Arif. She was a former chairperson of Alappuzha municipality and is a grassroots leader in the constituency. Shanimol got upper hand after K C Venugopal opted out of contesting.In Ernakulam, only K V Thomas’ name has emerged. The party leadership feels he has to be given one more opportunity to contest given his track record.
For Kasargod, the party has shortlisted Subbaiah Rai, son of the late Congress MP I Rama Rai and son-in-law of late CPM MP Ramanna Rai. Congress poll pundits believe in addition to this political pedigree, Subbaiah could cut through the linguistic minority votes.
Kannur strongman K Sudhakaran will contest from his home turf. And Rajmohan Unnithan, one of the best orators of the Congress party, has made a surprise entry into the list. In the 2006 Assembly elections, Unnithan put up a tough fight against CPM’s Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in Thalassery.The Congress had finalised K C Venugopal for Wayanad. But now that he has announced that he will not contest, the party may field T Siddique in Wayanad with Oommen Chandy throwing his weight behind his protégé.