Congress leaders said the reasons projected by Peelipose Thomas just to become a LDF candidate in Pathanamthitta were not at all justifiable and unbecoming of a person of his stature.

Joining hands with the CPI(M) for a ticket in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, after enjoying several key positions offered by the Congress party over the past three decades was nothing short of deceiving the ordinary Congress workers and the people at large, T.Saratchandraprasad, KPCC general secretary and P.Mohanraj, District Congress Committee president, have alleged.

At a press conference here on Saturday, the Congress leaders said the reasons projected by Mr. Thomas just to become a LDF candidate in Pathanamthitta were not at all justifiable and unbecoming of a person of his stature.

They said the party had always honoured him with key positions that included the Kerala University Union chairman, president of the Pathanamthitta District Co-operative Bank, two-time president of the DCC, State Planning Board member, UDF district convener, KPCC member, All-India Congress Committee member, etc.

Though Mr. Thomas could not win the Assembly elections from the Ranni Assembly segment twice in the past, the party had given him ticket to contest from Ranni again for a third time, overlooking the precedence of not giving party tickets to those who have lost the polls from a particular constituency in two consecutive elections, they said.

He could not blame the party for his failure to recapture the once Congress stronghold of Ranni from the CPI(M) candidate, Raju Abraham, in three consecutive elections, they said.

Mr. Saratchandraprasad said the Congress party had not considered him for any new position in the UDF government as part of its policy in this regard. The party policy was not to give any new position to those who were given ticket to contest in the previous Assembly elections, he added.

The Congress leaders alleged that the CPI(M) decision to field Mr. Thomas as its candidate in Pathanamthitta itself was a testimony to its organisational degeneration in the Central Travancore region and inability to find a party candidate to oppose the Congress party.

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