Girish Menon

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leaders in Kerala have decided to come out with a consensus list of candidates for the Lok Sabha seats from the State.

The attempt is to present a consensus list to the party’s Central Election Committee to the extent possible. The party screening committee briefly met in Delhi this afternoon and approved the Kerala leaders’ opinion. The committee also decided that fielding sitting MLAs should be avoided as far as possible.

It has become certain that Shashi Tharoor will be the candidate in Thiruvananthapuram as the party leaders have got strong feelers from the high command in this regard. KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala will not be contesting and he gave his personal explanation for the decision. According to top Congress sources, V.M. Sudheeran will have the privilege to choose his constituency from among Thrissur, Chalakudy and Alappuzha. Once he decides on this, it will be easier to work out the communal equations for the other seats.

Information available here suggests that selecting a candidate for Wayanad will prove to be quite tough. The party leaders are in two minds about fielding a candidate belonging to the Muslim community from the constituency. A better political move will be to field candidates from other communities from both Wayanad and Kozhikode, a senior leader said.

The party will also have difficulty in finding an additional accommodation for a candidate from the Roman Catholic community. It expects to provide a seat for a non-Catholic either in Chalakudy or Thrissur, while a person belonging to the Latin Catholic community will get the ticket in Ernakulam.

Earlier, Mr. Thankachan opted out of the race from Chalakudy.

Over and above this, veteran Congress leader K. Karunakaran’s nominee also needs to be accommodated.

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