No surprise candidates in Cong. list for Ernakulam

K. Babu gets another chance

With the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) releasing their list of candidates, the electoral scene of the district has become active.

The CPI(M) and the CPI had finalised their list last week.

There were no surprise candidates in the Congress list, as the party gave one more chance at the hustings for all its sitting legislators from the district. Incidentally, it was the delay in finalising the party candidate for the Thripunithura seat along with nine others that reportedly delayed the release of the list.

Though a section of the Congress leaders, it is learnt, was not in favour of fielding former Excise Minister K. Babu once again from his home turf, Thripunithura, his loyalty to A group leader and Congress general secretary Oommen Chandy paid for the senior Congress leader.

Mr. Babu, who had represented Thripunithura for a quarter century, was trounced by M. Swaraj, the CPI(M) candidate, in the last election. Its will be a replay of the 2016 election at the constituency, as the CPI(M) has retained Mr. Swaraj as its candidate. Congress strongman V.D. Satheesan will test his popular support from his citadel, Paravur, once again, while Eldhose Kunnapally will contest from Perumbavoor.

The party has reposed faith in sitting MLA Roji M. John and fielded him once again from Angamaly.

The formal announcement of the candidature of P.T. Thomas, who had kicked off his campaign a few days ago, too came on the day. He will seek another term in the Assembly from Thrikkakara.

T.J. Vinod, Ernakulam DCC president and Ernakulam MLA, will contest from his home turf. V.P. Sajeendran will seek people’s mandate from Kunnathunadu.

The party has picked former Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany to wrest the Kochi seat back from sitting MLA and former Kochi Corporation councillor K.J. Maxy. Anwar Sadath will once again contest from Aluva, which he had been wining back-to-back.

In Vypeen, a former civic representative, Deepak Joy, is the party’s choice to wrest the seat back from the LDF.

Mr. Joy had opted out of the civic polls this time, as the division he represented earlier was reserved for women at the just concluded civic polls.

The Youth Congress leader was recently appointed as the national coordinator of the organisation.

In Muvattupuzha, a lawyer-politician, Mathew Kuzhalnadan, also a leader of the Professional Congress, is the Congress candidate.

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