KOCHI: With just one more day left for filing of nomination papers, Congress is still grappling with disputes on seat allocation in two seats -- Irikkur and Elathur -- and yet to find a candidate to be fielded against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom. State Congress president Mullappally Ramachandran said they have proposed to the high command to consider party state working president K Sudhakaran, MP, for Dharmadom and a decision is expected by Thursday.
However, the rebellion, which broke out in the party in Irikkur after the name of Sajeev Joseph, state Congress general secretary, was announced, is still continuing even after the several hours of discussion held by UDF convener M M Hassan and sitting MLA K C Joseph with the disgruntled leaders in Kannur on Wednesday.
Sony Sebastian, former state Congress general secretary and top ‘A’ faction leader in Kannur district, is spearheading the dissident activities. In a bid to settle the dispute, senior leader Oommen Chandy will meet the leaders who are on the warpath soon.
“Though Hassan told the leaders to withdraw from the protest considering the Congress high command’s decision, the workers asked him to convey their feelings to the national leadership,” said a party leader. Besides Sony Sebastian, who recently resigned from the general secretary post, K V Philomina, M P Murali and Chandran Thillankeri, who all quit the KPCC secretary post, and P T Mathew, UDF district chairman, took part in the talks with Hassan and Joseph.
The situation is not different in Elathur, where local Congress leaders declared the candidature of U V Dinesh Mani, state Congress executive member and former president of Chelannur block panchayat, on Wednesday. Protests have erupted against the decision to allocate the seat to NCK launched by Mani C Kappan, MLA, after parting ways with NCP and joining UDF. The leaders said Dinesh Mani will file his nomination papers on Thursday.
Elathur was the second seat allocated to NCK after Pala. However, M K Raghavan, MP, has sent a letter to the Congress high command demanding the seat for the party as NCK has no presence in the constituency, where UDF can register a victory against Transport Minister and sitting MLA A K Saseendran. The NCK has fielded Sulfikkar Mayoori, a businessman based in Alappuzha, in the seat but he could not commence electioneering yet due to the protests.
The local leaders have conveyed their demand to P V Mohanan, AICC secretary, when he arrived in Elathur. According to the leaders, Congress has good prospects this time as there are widespread allegations against Saseendran.