KOCHI: Congress national general secretary KC Venugopal, state president K Sudhakaran and Opposition Leader VD Satheesan visited Uma Thomas, wife of late MLA PT Thomas, at her residence in Kochi on Monday, triggering speculation over her candidature in the upcoming Thrikkakara assembly bypoll.
The bypoll, necessitated after the death of PT, is likely to be held next month. Though the Congress wants to field Uma in the bypoll, she is yet to take a final call. The seat is considered prestigious for the party as it is the sitting seat of PT. If Uma doesn’t want to enter the fray, the leadership will consider some names from the district itself for the candidature.
The names of former mayor Tony Chammini, KPCC general secretary Deepthi Mary Varghese and DCC president Mohammed Shiyas are doing the rounds. Most leaders in the party believe that Uma would be fielded as she can gain the sympathy of the voters over the untimely demise of PT, one of the best legislators of Congress.
Sources in the party said CPM had backed independents in the constituency in the previous elections and a final decision on candidature will be reached only after watching the moves of the LDF. However, Sudhakaran said it was only a friendly visit. “The party has not commenced talks on the candidature for the bypoll. In any case, a strong candidate will be fielded,” he said. Later, the party leaders held a meeting at the DCC office in the city.
Meanwhile, Sudhakaran trained guns on former Union minister and MP K V Thomas, alleging that he had betrayed the party. “K V Thomas has been in touch with the CPM for the past one year. Flouting the party diktat, he visited CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury at his party office in New Delhi,” Sudhakaran said at a press conference at the DCC office later.
“The Congress had decided that nobody from the party would attend the CPM party congress in Kannur as our workers would react emotionally against those flouting this. The Congress does not want betrayers,” he said. He alleged that the CPM organised the party congress with the help of BJP and CPM ‘middlemen’ who work to weaken Congress at the national level.