Rebel trouble likely for Congress in Kerala

The Congress on Tuesday appeared to face the challenge of possible rebels, or LDF-backed party deserters in Palakkad, Chadayamangalam, Konni and Muvattupuzha Assembly segments.

District Congress Committee former president A.V. Gopinath has raised a rebellion in Palakkad. He accused the party leadership of sidelining him. The CPI(M) sought to exploit the โ€œmutinyโ€ to turn the tables on the Congress in Palakkad. It floated the possibility of pitting Mr. Gopinath as an LDF-backed independent against incumbent legislator and Youth Congress president Shafi Parambil.

The KPCC is in touch with Mr. Gopinath. It is likely to seek some accommodation for him.

Touchy subject

The wrangling between the Kerala Congress (Joseph) and the KPCC over the Muvattupuzha constituency has emerged as a touchy subject in the UDF.

The Youth Congress has protested the move to cede Muvattupuzha to KC(J). It alleged the KC(J) has no organisational base in the Assembly segment. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran on Tuesday hinted that Muvattupuzha was not on the table in the partyโ€™s talks with the KC(J).

Local Congress workers are up in arms against the proposal to yield Chadayamangalam to the IUML. In Konni, a faction in the Congress has opposed Adoor Prakashโ€™s loyalist Robin Peter. The KPCC felt the noises of discord would subside once the AICC announced the Congress candidate list for Kerala.

Panel of names

Congress MPs, MLAs, district and mandalam committees have submitted their panel of names to the KPCC.

A committee led by H. K. Patil will scrutinise the nominations. AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala, Tariq Anwar, Mr. Ramachandran, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy are also on board.

They were likely to travel to New Delhi this week to submit a whittled down list of nominations to the AICC. Mr. Ramachandran and V.M. Sudheeran are unlikely to be in the fray.

The UDF seat-sharing talks with IUML have reached the final stage. By some accounts, KC(J) might relinquish its claim for Muvattupuzha in deference to the Congress.

The RSP is likely to field Babu Divakaran and Shibu Baby John in Eravipuram and Chavara in Kollam, respectively. Nationalist Congress (Kerala) of Mani. C. Kappan is expected to get two seats, including Pala. Bharatiya Janata Dal and Kerala Congress (Jacob) will get one seat each.

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