Puthuppally bypoll: CPM plans surprise move by fielding Congress rebel

The BJP has also initiated preparations, with state president K Surendran stating that the candidate will be announced after the core committee meeting on Saturday.

Published: 10th August 2023 09:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2023 09:12 AM   |  A+A-

CPIM flags used for representation

Express News Service

KOTTAYAM: The Oommen Chandy sympathy wave is not only being seized upon by the UDF; the Left too is aiming to tap into the Chandy legacy. In an unexpected move, the Left is reportedly considering a close associate of Oommen Chandy as its candidate to challenge Chandy Oommen in the Puthuppally constituency.

The CPM is allegedly leveraging differing opinions within the Vallakkalil family regarding Oommen Chandy’s medical treatment issues. Discussions between the CPM and the Congress leader, a member of the Kottayam district panchayat, have taken place. Despite efforts by family members and prominent Congress leaders including Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and K  C Joseph to dissuade him, no conclusive decision has been reached as of late into the night.

Meanwhile, names like Reji Zacharia, K M Radhakrishnan, and Jaick C Thomas are also circulating for potential LDF candidature. The party is also contemplating Subhash T Varghese, CPM Puthuppally area secretary, for the role.

The LDF intends to unveil its candidate on Saturday following a two-day state secretariat meeting. According to V N Vasavan, a party secretariat member and minister from Kottayam, the secretariat will make the decision. The state committee meetings on August 13 and 14 will subsequently confirm the choice. Vasavan stated, “The state secretariat will deliberate the Puthuppally by-election candidate and make a decision on Saturday.” However, the party’s timing of announcement is uncertain due to the inadvertent leakage of their strategy.

Meanwhile, CPM leaders K K Jayachandran and Vasavan,who are in-charge of  the by-election, conducted a meeting in Kottayam on Wednesday to discuss election preparations. “We are fully prepared for the election. LDF booth committees have already been mobilized. With six out of eight panchayats in the constituency under LDF rule, we have a political advantage here. There won’t be a sympathy wave in the election, as people had personal affection for and revered Oommen Chandy, but not necessarily the Congress,” Vasavan stated.

The BJP has also initiated preparations, with state president K Surendran stating that the candidate will be announced after the core committee meeting on Saturday. BJP state general secretary George Kurian and zonal president N Hari have emerged as probable candidates.

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