The Congress leadership in the State has put pressure on the party high command for an early decision on the nomination of a new president for the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).

According to party sources, Speaker G. Karthikeyan is likely to be nominated KPCC president as Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, who are heading the two main party factions, have reportedly come to an understanding.

Talks in Delhi

Mr. Chandy and Mr. Chennithala left for New Delhi on Wednesday for discussions with the high command on the replacement for Mr. Chennithala, who has been holding temporary charge as KPCC president since assuming office as a Minister.

Senior party leaders here emphasise the need for a full-time president in view of the pre-election party work currently under way.

The new president should be given sufficient time to settle down and lead the party in the coming Lok Sabha elections, expected to be held in April, they feel.

Mr. Chennithala and Mr. Chandy have kept their preferences under wraps but reportedly held a few rounds of discussions prior to their Delhi trip. Mr. Karthikeyan has kept distance from the current round of factional politics, but is perceived to be a widely accepted nominee.

If the high command finally zeros in on Mr. Karthikeyan as its PCC nominee, it will also have to decide on a nominee to succeed him as Speaker. The timing of the induction of the new Speaker will also be important because the Assembly is in session. The House has taken a long recess till January 20 in view of the AICC session. There are several prospective candidates who can be considered for the post, but the sources say factional equations will have to be balanced.

New Speaker

A person belonging to the Chandy faction can be possibly chosen as the Speaker. There are several names doing the rounds, with K. Sivadasan Nair and K.C. Joseph figuring prominently.