No solution yet on Cong. candidates

The Congress high command continues to grapple with factional tussle over the selection of candidates for the Wayanad, Vadakara, Alappuzha and Attingal Lok Sabha constituencies. AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy will rejoin the discussion on Monday after returning to Delhi.

Wayanad continues to be the bone of contention between the factions led by Mr. Chandy and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. Mr. Chandy has put his foot down for the Wayanad seat for his close aide T. Siddique, who is currently Kozhikode DCC president.

Mr. Chandy had returned to Kerala on Saturday even before the Congress central election committee completed its discussion on the list, clearly indicating his mind. Mr. Chennithala has nominated Shanimol Usman. It has almost become certain that Adoor Prakash, MLA, will contest the Attingal seat, though a formal announcement will be made only on the basis of the Wayanad outcome.

Mr. Chennithala has ruled out the question of letting go Wayanad seat, which is reckoned as a bastion of the Congress and had been contested by his faction in 2009 and 2014, since it would lead to an imbalance in the factional computations. Mr. Chandy, however, underplayed his Delhi visit by stating that it had no connection with the candidate selection of the four seats. His visit was in connection with the candidate selection for Andhra Pradesh, where he is in charge as AICC general secretary.

The party high command has a task of making a fair selection for the Vadakara seat, especially in the context of the fact that the CPI(M) has field P. Jayarajan, who has always been targeted by the Congress leaders for allegedly promoting the cult of political violence. The party leaders are also examining the undercurrents triggered off by the calculated risk the CPI(M) appears to have taken in the constituency located in Malabar, where majority and minority communalism have been a dominant electoral issue.

The selection of candidates for the four seats are interlinked because Mr. Siddique and Ms. Usman are being considered for either of these seats. Another active name doing the rounds is that of V.V. Prakash, DCC president of Malappuram, but he will get the ticket depending on a final solution that the party leaders may arrive at.


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