THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Young blood is missing in the campaign trail of the Congress in the four constituencies, especially in Vattiyoorkavu, where it is fighting the by-elections in which the party candidates face comparatively young faces put up by the Left Democratic Front (LDF).
The KPCC did not heed the words of sitting MLAs K. Muraleedharan (Vattiyoorkavu) and Adoor Prakash (Konni) on the selection of candidates. Mr Muraleedharan was conspicuous by his absence when K. Mohan Kumar submitted his nominations.
KSU state president K. M. Abhijith was a strong contender for the seat initially. A senior Congress leader told DC that if Remya Haridas, who originally belongs to Kozhikode, could win from Alathur Lok Sabha seat, a youth leader like Abhijith could have given a tough fight to CPM’s V. K. Prasanth. "Our priority should have been to defend our sitting seats," the leader said.
The assessment comes amid reports that Mr Mohan Kumar has openly expressed disappointment with the speed of the campaign.
The KPCC has entrusted several Congress leaders to work in certain constituencies. But they function on the basis of communal balance and group equations.
Mr Muraleedharan, who won in Vattiyoorkav in 2016 said he too had lacked the support of youth leaders. "I conducted door-to-door campaigns from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., but the majority of the youth workers of Congress had been poached by the BJP. The sons of the local Congress leaders joined the saffron camp which had made inroads in the constituency," said Mr Muraleedharan.
Things are not better in the other three constituencies. A KPCC office- bearer said that the top leaders should be blamed for the fiasco.
"The senior Congress leaders should have done their homework in advance, but they are looking for short-term benefits," he said.