THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/KOCHI: T. N. Prathapan, the sitting legislator from Kodungallur, who relinquished his seat for more representation to youngsters, has iterated that he was not in the race.
Speaking to reporters at Cochin airport on Saturday, he vehemently denied reports suggesting that he had shot off an email to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi seeking Kaipamangalam seat instead. Earlier, Youth Congress state president Dean Kuriakose had come down heavily on him saying he had lost his façade of moral probity as he had snatched away the chances of a youth leader, KSU Thrissur district president Sobha Subin.
There were reports earlier that Mr Gandhi asked the AICC screening committee to field Mr Prathapan in the constituency of his choice. Mr Prathapan said they had summoned him to New Delhi and urged him to contest. But by then Mr Kuriakose said Mr Prathapan’s real face was exposed.
Mr Prathapan said he had, in fact, reiterated his stand that he didn't want to contest again. “I had already taken a position, and there is no change in it. I don’t want to forego the chances of a youth leader. In fact, an enquiry should be initiated on the (purported) letter,” he said.
Mr Kuriakose said he would apprise the Congress leadership of Mr Prathapan's intentions. “He has spoiled chances of 28-year-old cleared by AICC screening committee,” he said. If Mr Prathapan were sincere, he said, he would have made way for the youth.
AICC general secretary in charge of the State, Mukul Wasnik also came to the rescue of Prathapan and said that he had not sent such a letter. Mr Prathapan, a staunch supporter of his party boss V.M. Sudheeran, alleged a ‘political conspiracy’ behind the controversy. A television channel had shown visuals of him attending an election convention of natives of Kaipamangalam in Dubai on March 25.