PALAKKAD: Former DCC president A V Gopinath has raised the banner of revolt against his party and Youth Congress state president Shafi Parambil who is most likely to contest from the Palakkad assembly constituency.
Gopinath is banking on the support from the LDF which had finished third in the constituency in the 2016 elections.
Gopinath, who is also a former MLA, told TNIE that the Congress has been sidelining him for the past many years and he is not going to take it lying down anymore. He added that he is waiting for a response from the Congress leadership.
“I am not after the party ticket or any posts in the party. Pushed to the wall, I will campaign in the whole state but will never say for which party,” he said.
Asked whether he will contest in Palakkad assembly seat, Gopinath said he has not decided anything till now.
The CPM district secretariat which met here on Tuesday is learnt to have recommended the name of C P Pramod in the seat. Party district secretary C K Rajendran said, “Gopinath has not approached us. He still remains in Congress. Let him make his stand clear and only after that, we can discuss it.”
District secretariat member and party strongman P K Sasi also said Gopinath has not contacted the CPM.
“However, if he abandons Congress, the CPM is ready to welcome him. Gopinath had differences with the party for some time,” said Sasi.
Meanwhile, a senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity that Gopinath will never leave the party.
“Everyone knows that if he contests from Palakkad even with the LDF support, he stands no chance of winning. Therefore, as far as I know, he is eyeing the post of DCC president after V K Sreekantan, MP, steps down. This posturing could be a move to get an assurance on it,” he said.
In the 2016 assembly elections, CPM’s N N Krishnadas was relegated to the third position with 28.07 per cent votes, while Shafi got 41.77% votes and BJP’s Sobha Surendran 29.08% votes.
When compared to the 2011 assembly elections, Shafi’s vote bank had remained more or less the same. In 2011, Shafi had secured 42.41% votes, CPM’s K K Divakaran 35.82% and BJP’s Udayabhaskar 19.80%, which shows that CPM votes had gone to the BJP.
Gopinath had proved his mettle by defeating the CPM in its citadel of Alathur in 1991, the only time majority of voters turned against CPM.
He has also been the president of Peringottukurissy panchayat for the past 25 years.The BJP, on the other hand, is toying with the idea of fielding either party spokesman Sandeep Warrier or Metroman E Sreedharan.