Congress aims to cash in on 'PT Thomas' factor, fields wife Uma for Thrikkakara bypoll

For the first time in its history in Kerala, Congress has zeroed in on its candidate within 24 hours after the poll announcement.

Published: 04th May 2022 06:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2022 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Uma Thomas is flanked by her sons Vivek and Vishnu

Uma Thomas is flanked by her sons Vivek and Vishnu. (Photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: For the first time in its history in Kerala, Congress has zeroed in on its candidate within 24 hours after the poll announcement. Uma Thomas, wife of the late PT Thomas whose demise necessitated byelection in Thrikkakara, will be the party candidate.

The Congress high command cleared Uma's candidature for the May 31 bypoll on Tuesday evening after the party's state unit unanimously recommended her name.

The swift move helped the party take the first-mover advantage in the election. By choosing 56-year-old Uma, Congress is hoping to cash in on the sympathy triggered by the demise of Thomas, who was often hailed as the ‘man of convictions’.

Thomas who was fondly called 'PT' by party workers, had brought up many matters concerning his constituency including environmental issues in the state assembly. Within seven months of his second term, he passed away in December 2021.

"I took up this responsibility to complete the missions started up by PT, who was often hailed as prince of convictions," Uma told reporters at her residence in Kochi on Tuesday.

Uma Thomas’ candidacy: Dominic Presentation airs dissenting voice

"The party has unanimously announced my name. PT was an obedient party leader and our family always stood by the party decisions. I am grateful to the Congress party as it has extended all support to our family after the demise of PT," she said.

Uma is not a new face in politics. She was a KSU leader at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam. She always accompanied Thomas in his several campaign trails in Thodupuzha and Thrikkakara assembly constituencies and Idukki parliament constituency.

Though Uma’s candidature looked a smooth affair, there were minor hiccups. UDF district chairman and former minister Dominic Presentation aired a dissenting voice saying Congress should select candidate after considering the social equation and not the sympathy factor.

However, senior leader Oommen Chandy talked to him on phone and pacified him. Asked about her chances if CPM fielded a strong party candidate unlike independents in the past, UMA said UDF is ready to face any candidate politically.

When told that veteran Congress leader KV Thomas's statement that he will "campaign in the bypoll for developement", Uma said if that's the case he would stand with Congress as it was the party that initiatied several development programmes in Ernakulam.

"KV Thomas will support us as he cannot work against me. I will meet all senior leaders including Thomas and seek their blessings," she said, adding that her campaign has already begun. 


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