Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress may finalise the list of the by-election candidates on Thursday and ann-ounce it in Delhi on Sa-turday. KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran will leave for New Delhi in a day or two for talks with the AICC. The probables are N. Peet-hambara Kurup and K. Mohan Kumar (Vatti-yoorkavu), Robin Peter (Konni), S. Rajesh (Aro-or), and T. J. Vinod/ K. V. Thomas (Ernakulam).
The Congress leaders said at the election committee meeting held here on Wednesday that ‘winnability, social justice and social equilibrium’ should be the criterion for the selection of candidates, and not groups.
K. V. Thomas, 73, five-time MP who is eyeing Ernakulam, lashed out at the KPCC leadership for giving him an “unc-eremonious exit” from the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. None except P. C. Chacko backed him.
“There is a shortage of women, Ezhava and Mu-slim candidates. Mulla-pally said merit alone should be the criterion,” said a former KPCC pre-sident. In the 2016 elections, the party had lost 10-12 to groupism.
T.J. Vinod has the ba-cking of a cross section of party workers from Ernakulam where the CPM has fielded independent Manu Roy, 42. Thomas has already left for New Delhi to lobby with the high command. Peethambara Kurup, 77, may take on V. K. Prasanth, 38, Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram.
The UDF has prepared the convention dates in the constituencies. The election meetings will be held in Aroor and Ernakulam on Sunday, Konni and Vattiyoork-avu on Monday and Manjeswaram on Tuesday....