Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Kerala Assembly polls | Tightrope walk for the Congress

Candidate selection for key seats in the capital district in proving to be a tightrope walk for the Congress. Despite witnessing much wrangling for seats, the party leadership is yet to zero in on ‘winnable’ candidates for the Nemom, Vattiyurkavu and Kazhakuttom segments.

Also read: Kerala Assembly polls | Congress’s Kerala final list on March 14

The predicament has forced the party to consider relaxing its supposed ban on permitting MPs from contesting in the Assembly polls. The Congress’ waning strength is the Parliament had prompted the High Command to toe such a line.

However, with Nemom, the BJP’s lone seat in Kerala, fast emerging a focal point of the upcoming polls, the Congress leadership has been toying with the possibility of fielding an MP who could both satisfy caste arithmetic and wrest the United Democratic Front (UDF)’s vote-base that has eroded in the recent past. The staunch refusal of senior leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala to contesting from these high-profile constituencies also appears to have left the party with no other go.

While Shashi Tharoor and K. Muraleedharan are among those who are rumoured to contest from Nemom, political analysts raise caution towards the risks associated with retaining the Lok Sabha seats that would be vacated if the Congress chose to adopt the strategy. The absence of an ‘electoral wave’ similar to one witnessed during the 2019 General Elections when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi contested from Wayanad could potentially weaken the party’s presence further in the Lok Sabha.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:24:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/kerala-assembly-polls-tightrope-walk-for-the-congress/article34063312.ece

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