Kochi

Political circles abuzz with talk of probable candidates

Ernakulam constituency believed to be a safe haven for the Congress

With the announcement of the date for byelection to the Ernakulam Assembly constituency on Saturday, political circles are abuzz with talk of names of probable candidates that will be announced next week.

District Congress Committee (DCC) president and Deputy Mayor T.J. Vinod said neither the United Democratic Front nor the Congress had finalised a name. He added that the KPCC would propose the name, and since it was a byelection, it was the prerogative of the State leadership to decide on whom to field.

However, there is talk of Mr. Vinod himself being the Congress choice, though the names of K.V. Thomas and former Mayor Tony Chammani are doing the rounds.

Ernakulam has been a safe haven for Congress candidates as proved even during the Left Front wave in the 2016 Assembly election. Hibi Eden, who was elected to the Lok Sabha, had won the seat in 2016 with a comfortable margin of nearly 22,000 votes. During the Lok Sabha elections, he had secured a majority of over 31,000 votes against P. Rajeev of the CPI(M). The byelection was necessitated by Mr. Eden’s election the Lok Sabha. Both the fronts have traditionally fielded candidates from the Latin Catholic community.

LDF-backed candidates have won only twice in elections to the constituency — Prof. M.K. Sanu in 1987 and Sebastian Paul in 1998. The constituency comprises areas under the Cheranalloor panchayat and 22 wards under the Kochi Corporation. The Left Front too will be looking to field a Latin Catholic candidate, though sources indicated that a party candidate was unlikely to be nominated.

N.K. Mohandas of the BJP had won nearly 15,000 votes in the 2016 election. The party too will be looking to field a strong candidate given its performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, the election Code of Conduct will come into effect from Sunday, the District Collector said in a statement here. The election will be notified on September 23. Polling is on October 21. Nomination papers can be filed till September 30 and can be withdrawn till October 3. Votes will be counted on October 24.

The Collector said as many as 270 VVPAT voting machines had arrived from Madurai by Saturday night. The EVM strongroom will be opened at 11 a.m. on Sunday in the presence of representatives of all recognised political parties. A meeting of election officials will be held on Sunday the Collector added.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 1:37:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/political-circles-abuzz-with-talk-of-probable-candidates/article29479440.ece

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