Chandy's family member will replace him as Cong candidate in Puthuppally: KPCC chief Sudhakaran

02:23 PM Jul 23, 2023 | PTI |

Hours after speculation began on who would replace late Congress stalwart Oommen Chandy as the party candidate from the Puthuppally constituency he represented for 53 years, KPCC chief K Sudhakaran on Sunday said it would be someone from the veteran leader’s family.


Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and MP, Sudhakaran said that unofficially discussions have begun on who should be the candidate and officially it would start a couple of days later. However, there was no doubt that it would be someone from Chandy’s family, he said while speaking to reporters in Kochi.

At the same time, the KPCC chief also said that the decision on who it should be would be decided by the family and not the party. Sudhakaran also said that if the ruling LDF in Kerala has any respect for Chandy, who died in Bengaluru on July 18, they should refrain from contesting for the Puthuppally constituency seat. ”We (Congress) do not need to make such a request. They (LDF) should do it on their own if they have any respect for Oommen Chandy,” he said.

The contention or demand by the KPCC chief was rejected by LDF convener E P Jayaran who told media that the Congress has never taken such a stand in the past. Jayarajan also said that elections were not about individuals, they were a political norm and therefore, he was rejecting the demand of the KPCC chief. Sudhakaran also disapproved of Congress leader Cherian Philip’s social media post primarily pushing for Chandy’s son — Chandy Oommen — to be the ”heir” to the position vacated by the late Congress leader.

”That was not correct on his (Philip) part. I have spoken to him about it and told him so,” the KPCC chief said. Philip, in a Facebook post, said that Chandy Oommen was qualified in every way to replace the late Congress leader as he understood the Congress culture, how his father worked and became the leader of the Youth Congress at the national and state level through his own hardwork and ability.


He also said that all three children of Chandy were politically aware and capable of playing a significant role in the party and that his two daughters — Achu and Maria — would be welcomed into the party if they chose to enter politics. At the same time, in his post, Philip also said that Chandy was not in favour of his children being part of active politics and was of the view that one member from the family was enough.

Congress leader and MP K Muraleedharan said, in Kozhikode, that once a by-election is announced for the Puthuppally seat, the party’s candidate would be decided immediately and there would be no arguments or disputes regarding the selection. On being asked by scribes whether the candidate would be a member of Chandy’s family as was being suggested by many Congress workers, Muraleedharan said that the party will take everything into account while making its decision. P K Kunhalikutty, the National General Secretary of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), too said that there would be no problems in deciding a candidate for the by-election.

”Puthuppally and Kerala deserve continuity of the same standards set by Oommen Chandy. The Congress party will decide who should represent the constituency and there will be no issues with that decision. There will be no dispute over the candidate selected by the party,” he said. Oommen Chandy, who served as the chief minister of Kerala twice, breathed his last in a private hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday. His end came while undergoing treatment for cancer, party sources said. He was 79.


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