NCP weighing options on Saseendran’s candidature

Mounting protests within the party against the candidature of Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran may prompt the central leadership of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to relook at fielding him from the Elathur segment for the Assembly polls.


Posters have started appearing in Kozhikode and Kochi against Mr. Saseendran running for the third time from Elathur. Affiliated organisations of the party, including its student, youth, and women wings, have raised a banner of revolt against the State leadership for fielding the 77-year-old leader, whose performance they termed as dismal.

27-year long stint

They point out that Mr. Saseendran had been in the electoral fray in the past eight Assembly elections, remained legislator for 27 years, and a Minister in the current Left Democratic Front regime.

Senior leaders, including party general secretary Jayan Puthenpurakkal, have also come out against State president T.P. Peethambaran for deftly “stage-managing” the election committee meeting to unanimously back the candidature of Mr. Saseendran. Some party workers have even threatened to resign from the party and boycott the election campaign in Elathur if Mr. Saseendran is fielded again. Opposition parties are gearing up to rake up the honey trap case that led to his resignation as Transport Minister in 2017, they say.

Other names

Fearing a backlash, the State leadership was forced to include the names of Kozhikode district president Mukkom Mohammed and a Kozhikode- based senior journalist, who had earlier held the post of chief of its students and youth organisations, in Elathur.

The development also assumes significance as chiefs of the affiliated organisations sought an appointment with party national president Sharad Pawar in Delhi before he announced the names of the candidates. A plausible factor working in their favour is that Mr. Saseendran has been continuously contesting on the party ticket without giving a chance to others.

Significantly, the national leadership has been planning to decide on Mr. Saseendran’s candidature after seeking an opinion from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] State unit. Now, the CPI(M) has decided not to assign seats to members who had contested the Assembly election on two consecutive occasions. Also, the Communist Party of India (CPI) has denied seats to legislators who have completed two terms as MLAs.

The party has been offered three seats — Elathur (Kozhikode), Kottakkal (Malappuram) and Kuttanad (Alappuzha) — for the coming Assembly polls.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 9:57:10 am |