Kerala

NCP Central leadership to finalise candidates

A meeting of the district committee of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday witnessed a ruckus over giving party ticket for the ninth time to Minister A.K. Saseendran in the Elathur Assembly segment in Kozhikode.

With a large section of local leaders opposing the candidature of Mr. Saseendran, the committee has decided to recommend four other names for the seat allotted to the party by the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

They are NCP district president and LDF district convener Mukkom Mohammed, State executive member Surya Narayanan, State general secretary Jayan Puthenpurakkal and a senior journalist based in Kozhikode who had earlier held the post of chief of its students and youth affiliates. The parliamentary board chaired by party president Sharad Pawar will take a final call on the party nominees, sources said.

Trouble started in the morning when the members assembled at the party office to review the election process and the organisational set-up of the party following the exit of its legislator Mani C. Kappan last month.

Those opposing Mr. Saseendran pointed out that he should opt out of the fray and that the party should come up with a fresh face to contest from Elathur. However, supporters of Mr. Saseendran said the party had no alternative leaders to fight the polls.

As the commotion intensified, NCP State president T.P. Peethambaran, who was present along with Mr. Saseendran, intervened and brought the situation under control. He, later, told the media that the party would announce the list of candidates before March 10.

Incidentally, when the district committee met last month, a faction had opposed offering the Elathur seat for the third time to Mr. Saseendran who had also previously contested successfully from the Balussery segment in 2006.

Besides, the Nationalist Mahila Congress, the women's wing of the party had shot off a letter to its national general secretary Praful Patel not to renominate him for the Assembly polls pointing out that the Opposition parties would rake up the four-year-old sensational honey trap case that led to his resignation as Transport Minister in March 2017.

The day also saw some dramatic moments when a police team reached the venue of the meeting after television channels aired that hostile party members came to blows. But no such incidents happened though members indulged in a verbal duel, a senior party functionary said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 4:46:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ncp-central-leadership-to-finalise-candidates/article33990102.ece

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