THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Senior Congress leader K.V. Thomas has redoubled his efforts for the ticket for the Ernakulam Assembly bypoll even as the lone woman KPCC vice-president Laly Vincent entered the fray along with front-runner corporation deputy mayor T.J. Vinod.
Prof. Thomas, who on Monday maintained that he did not discuss his candidature in his meeting with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, is understood to have played the denial of his sitting seat in the last Lok Sabha polls as trump card in his discussions with KPCC leadership. A senior Congress MP told DC that the party’s deciding trio of KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy has seen merit in Prof. Thomas’s argument. “They had asked Ms Vincent to come to Indira Bhavan on Tuesday to talk about her candidature,” the Congr-ess leader said.
“But they were apologetic to her citing Prof. Thomas’s claim.”
It is understood that Mr Chandy opposed the candidature of Mr Vinod, who was backed by Mr Chennithala, saying it could hamper the UDF rule in the corporation council which it controls by a thin margin while Ms Vincent is being offered a winnable seat in the next Assembly election. Ms Vincent’s efforts to strengthen the party at booth level in Wayanad had reportedly earned her adulation from the AICC leadership.
Meanwhile, posters have come up in front of Kochi corporation office demanding that leaders who have contested several times must give way to youngsters, signalling opposition to the candidature of Prof. Thomas.