After Assembly seats were allotted to the groups led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, the Congress party in Kerala is facing rebel menace in several constituencies. On Wednesday, senior leader and three-time legislator Shobhana George quit the party to contest as an independent.
The state unit of the Indian National Trade Union (INTUC) has threatened to work against Congress candidates in protest against denial of seats to the nominees of the party’s trade union wing. In many constituencies, local leaders have started campaigning against the party’s official candidates.
George said the party has insulted her. “I cannot continue with a party that does not give any recognition for me. I would contest as an independent from Chengannur constituency which I had represented in the past,’’ said George. Chandy loyalist PC Vishnunath is contesting from Chengannur.
KPCC executive committee member Chithara Madhu has announced that he would contest against party vice-president M M Hassan in Chadayamangalam.
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In Irikkur constituency in Kannur district, Congress Minister K C Joseph is facing threat from within the party after Congress mandal president K R Abdul Khadar decided to take on the seasoned legislator. There has been clamour from within the local Congress leaders at Irikkur that Joseph, who has been representing the constituency since 1982, should give way for young leaders from the region.
In Congress stronghold Thiruvambady in Kozhikode district, district committee vice-president P K Chacko has decided to contest against the UDF candidate.
Besides, Kerala Congress (Jacob) chairman Johny Nelloor had quit the party to work against Congress which denied him the Angamaly seat. Nelloor, had unsuccessfully contested from Angamaly in 2011. Congress has allotted the seat to National Students Union president Roji John. Nelloor, who had represented Muvattupuzha constituency three times in the past, said he would contest as an independent to defeat the Congress.