Lobbying intensifies in Congress for Palakkad and Chelakkara seats

Youth Congress state president Rahul Mamkootathil and former MP Ramya Haridas are most likely to get the ticket to contest for the byelections in the reserved seats respectievely.
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Image used for representation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though the Election Commission of India is yet to announce the date for byelections to seats rendered vacant following the Lok Sabha elections, lobbying is on in the Congress for the Chelakkara and Palakkad assembly berths. The Congress state leadership is yet to hold talks on the byelections, including the one likely in Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency. Preliminary-level talks on byelections are expected in the state executive committee meeting on Thursday.

Ramya Haridas, 38, who tasted defeat at the hands of CPM’s K Radhakrishnan in the Alathur LS constituency, is a serious contender for the reserved Chelakkara seat. Though posters appeared in Chelakkara against her, the party is keen on projecting her as its candidate. However, some in the Congress feel she might prove detrimental to the ministerial prospects of another senior leader from the SC community, A P Anil Kumar, the Wandoor MLA.

“If Ramya wins from Chelakkara, she has every chance of emerging as a minister in a possible UDF cabinet after the 2026 assembly elections, as she is a woman candidate and hails from the SC community. This might hamper the prospects of Anil, the most trusted lieutenant of national general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal in Kerala,” a Congress leader told TNIE.

The most prominent among other hopefuls in Chelakkara is K B Sasikumar, son of former Chelakkara MLA K K Balakrishnan. Currently KPCC secretary, Sasikumar lost to Radhakrishnan in the 2011 assembly elections. Other names include K V Dasan, a former district panchayat president, and Sivan Veettikunnu, a local panchayat leader.

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Kerala: Rahul Mamkootathil, V T Balram top contenders for Palakkad bypoll

In Palakkad, the onus is on Shafi Parambil, who relinquished his legislator post after his win from Vadakara, to suggest a candidate. His protégé, Youth Congress state president Rahul Mamkootathil, is most likely to get the ticket. However, the fact that he hails from Adoor may work against Rahul.

In such a case, KPCC vice-president V T Balram will contest from Palakkad. Having shone in the state assembly for two terms, Balram, 46, lost to CPM’s M B Rajesh in Thrithala by 3,173 votes in the 2021 elections.

Priyanka in Wayanad?

In the Wayanad LS seat, the Congressis hopeful that AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi will eventually become the candidate.

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UDF pressurises Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Wayanad

Rumours are rife that while Rahul Gandhi is keen on passing the baton to his sister, Sonia Gandhi does not want her son to lose his sheen with Priyanka entering the election.

However, a vast section of state Congress leaders believe that Rahul’s words that voters in Wayanad and Rae Bareli are not going to be disappointed when he decides on one of them gives a hint that Priyanka will take the mantle from him.

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