Thiruvananthapuram: Chances of the 'A' and 'I' factions of the Congress swapping the Konni and Aroor seats have increased with the NSS leadership exerting pressure on the party to field former Pathanamthitta DCC president P. Mohanraj of the 'A' group. The seat was earlier represented by Adoor Prakash of the 'I' group, who is now MP from Attingal.
A section in the group led by DCC president Babu George and former chairman of the Rajy Sabha P. J. Kurien opposes the candidature of Robin Peter, the nominee of Mr Prakash, who belongs to the 'I' group.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala met K. Muraleedharan, MP, twice during the day in a bid to smoothen the process of candidate selection. Mr Chennithala is understood to have briefed Mr Muraleedharan on the rejection of his nominee N. Peethambara Kurup in Vattiyoorkavu and discussed the NSS stand on Konni.
"NSS general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair had called Mr Chennithala and expressed his preference for Mr Mohanraj who belongs to his community," a Congress source said.
Both the NSS and the DCC president had made it clear that the party should maintain social balance and reject Mr Peter. Some see Prof Kurien's hand in attempts to bring in Mr Mohanraj, an 'A' group loyalist as he is planning to contest from the district in the next assembly elections. He wanted to not to upset the communal balance in the district, said a leader.
If Mr Mohanraj gets the ticket, S. Deepu, 40, the Youth Congress Alappuzha parliamentary constituency president, is likely to be the Aroor candidate.
A former Haripad block panchayat member, he is close to both Mr Chennithala and AICC general secretary K. C. Venugopal....