THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even before the seat-sharing discussions are on, leaders of Congress and its allies have demanded seats of their choice. Prominent Congress legislator K. Muraleedharan said he would not contest anywhere if he were shifted from Vattiyoorkavu while Kerala Congress (Jacob) chair Johnny Nellore demanded either Angamaly or Muvattupuzha.
Mr Muraleedharan had nursed his constituency exceptionally well that his colleagues look upon him with envy. Over the last few days, there were reports that KPCC leadership was keen to project him as a Hindu leader of stature in the Malabar, which has not gone down well with him.
"I have contested the Assembly polls three times. I was defeated in the Vadakkencherry by-election as well as in Koduvally. But when I contested Vattiyoorkavu, I won with a thumping majority and debuted in the Assembly. I have been taking care of my constituency so well. So why should I go elsewhere?" a peeved Muraleedharan said.
Meanwhile, AICC will finalise on Monday whether all the three senior leaders, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran and home minister Ramesh Chennithala, should contest.
The crucial meeting between the AICC leaders and KPCC leadership is scheduled to take place at 5:30 pm. Mr Chennithala has repeatedly told reporters that AICC would finalise the candidates.
"During the 2011 Assembly elections, Mr Chennithala could contest only after getting the AICC nod. It all depends on the AICC. In all likelihood, Mr Sudheeran too would be asked to be in the fray because of his clean image when Mr Chandy and Mr Chennithala have been linked to solar and bar scams," said a senior Congress leader.
Mr Sudheeran has been tight-lipped on the speculations over his candidature in Manaloor or if he was eyeing another safer seat. Efforts are also on to maintain Kannur sitting MLA A. P. Abdullakutty to ensure 30 percent Muslim votes.
In that case, K. Sudhakaran, who has also been eyeing the same constituency, is in a dilemma and is likely to move to Uduma in Kasargod. CM's trusted lieutenant Thampanoor Ravi, who is also KPCC general secretary is unlikely to get a seat for solar taint....