Thiruvananthapuram | The much delayed Congress candidates’ list for the May 16 Assembly polls in Kerala, which had seen bitter bickering among state leaders over inclusion of certain ministers facing corruption charges, is likely to be announced by the AICC at Delhi later today.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was the first to return to the state this morning after a week-long discussions with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders maintained that the list will be out today.
Asked by reporters at Kochi airport if he would be in the fray, Chandy said let the list be out first, then I will respond. Chandy, KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala had been in Delhi for the past one week to finalise the list of the candidates from the state and holding discussions with the party high command.
The chief minister is reportedly peeved that his confidants Excise Minister, K Babu and Revenue Minister, Adoor Prakash, were being targetted by the KPCC President. Chandy had reportedly made it clear that if they were not in the list, he would also keep away from the elections.
Chandy, who left for his home town Puthpally soon after arriving from Delhi, also held discussions at the airport with Babu, minister K C Joseph and MLAs, Dominic Presentation and Benny Behanan.
Sudheeran told reporters at Delhi that his suggestions regarding certain names in the list was not out of any personal vendetta, but to enhance the winning prospects of the Congress-led UDF. The procedures for the final preparation of the candidates list was completed yesterday only and the high-command would declare the list at the earliest, he said.
Several suggestions had been submitted to the high command to enhance the winning prospects of the Congress and UDF, to widen the party base at the grass root level and increase the people’s support.
It is to make the poll result more favourable to the party and the front and not out of any personal vendetta against anyone, Sudheeran said. The whole effort is to ensure the continuation of UDF rule in the state, Sudheeran added. Asked if his name was in the list, Sudheeran said he had earlier itself made it clear that he would not contest in the coming polls.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Chennithala, said the Congress list had been prepared in a ‘democratic manner’ and all party workers and people will welcome the list. Congress is a democratic party and there is bound to be differences of opinion. However, after the list is out, everyone will work unitedly for the party candidates. There is need for UDF to return to power.
We have to work hard to transform the goodwill into votes, whatever decision, the congress high command takes, everyone should work for the party and ensure the front’s sucess. In the given situation, the list was the best we could prepare, he said. There is a possibility of UDF coming to power once again and it is our historic responsibility to ensure that everyone works unitedly to achieve this. In this election, victory is essential, and we need to do everything to achieve that, he said.