Kerala

AICC taps Oommen Chandy to head Kerala electioneering

Oommen Chandy. File Photo.  

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has reportedly tapped former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to lead the party into the electoral fray in the coming Assembly election in the State.

The AICC had nominated a high-power committee to finalise candidate selection and formulate electioneering strategy. It has tipped Mr. Chandy to head the panel.

The Congress has not named Mr. Chandy or any other leader as its Chief Minister candidate.

However, Mr. Chandy’s track record as a powerful mobiliser in the provincial Congress party seemed to have powered his “ascendancy”. The AICC also hoped to draw on Mr. Chandy’s long innings in government and Opposition to bring the Congress closer to coalition partners, social organisations and community leaders ahead of the election.

Mr. Chandy is among equals on the panel. A.K. Antony, Tariq Anwar, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, UDF convener M.M. Hassan, and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala are among those on board.

Congress office-bearers from Kerala were in New Delhi on Monday to hold consultations with the national leadership, including Rahul Gandhi.

Mr. Chandy has arrived at the helm of the Congress’s electioneering machinery at a challenging juncture. The party is facing the “daunting task” of defeating the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The ruling front had harnessed youth power and fielded winnable candidates to buck the anti-incumbency factor and emerge dominant in the local body polls. At a stroke, the LDF had raised the stakes in the impending battle for the Assembly.

The AICC has reportedly trashed the traditional practice of “mindlessly” apportioning Assembly seats to opposing party factions. It has insisted that the Congress consider only candidates who could secure a win for the party.

A party insider said more youth, women, opinion leaders, popular independents and Congress workers from backward classes and Dalit communities would find themselves on the candidates’ list.

Demographic and political shifts, which the Congress had “missed” in the local body polls, would also influence candidate selection.

The panel would also help rebuild the Congress’ electioneering machinery from the rump by mustering canvassers from the ward level and upwards.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:57:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/aicc-taps-oommen-chandy-to-head-kerala-electioneering/article33603479.ece

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