The state-level election committee of the Congress in Kerala Saturday decided to include all sitting legislators of the party in the list of probable candidates for the assembly election on May 16. The list will be submitted next week to the party central leadership, which will take a final decision on candidates.
Congress state president V M Sudheeran told the media that the election committee has prepared a list of candidates for 82 of the state’s 140 seats. Barring four constituencies, all segments have more than one name in the list. The four seats with only one candidate name are the ones represented by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy; Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala; K Sabarinathan, who won a recent by-election from Aruvikkara; and minister P K Jayalakshmi, the lone tribal woman representative in the outgoing government.
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Sudheeran said the AICC screening committee will fix an eligibility criteria and also decide whether those who have won four consecutive terms should be allowed to contest again.
The list of probables includes legislator T N Prathapan, who has said that he does not want to contest this time.
Earlier this week, Sudheeran had created a flutter in the Congress with his remark that senior legislators who have won four or more consecutive terms should keep out of the fray and pave the way for the younger generation. The suggestion had irked the groups led by Chandy and Chennithala, as most such members belong to their groups.