Congress to Contest in 16 Kerala Seats

Allies Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is likely to contest on two, and one seat each will be given to Kerala Congress (Joseph) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (B)…reports Asian Lite News

The Congress will contest 16 seats in Kerala, while the rest of the four seats will be contested by the constituent parties, announced Kerala Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan after the party’s Central Election Committee meeting here on Thursday.

Kerala has 20 parliamentary seats.

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is likely to contest on two, and one seat each will be given to Kerala Congress (Joseph) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (B), he said.

“In Kerala we are contesting- 16 out of 20 seats. The rest of the four seats are being contested by our constituent parties. Today, the CEC has decided on the candidates for those 16 seats. Tomorrow, the AICC will announce the names of the candidates,” Satheesan told reporters.

When asked about speculation of K C Venugopal and Rahul Gandhi contesting from Kerala, Satheesan refused to answer saying he is not “competent” to announce the candidates.

Meanwhile, the Congress party’s second Election Committee meeting will be held on March 11 in the national capital to discuss the candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Earlier, Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge arrived at the party headquarters on Thursday for a Central Election Committee meeting to discuss candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.

After the meeting, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said “We had the first central election committee regarding the parliament candidates. We finalised seats from Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Lakshadweep. The procedure is going on; a formal announcement will be made very soon.”

When asked if he will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections, former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said that the spokesperson will speak.

Congress leader Sachin Pilot said, “It was a good discussion. Discussion was held on all the seats. As soon as CEC decides, you will be told. Whatever decision is taken AICC will brief.”

After the meeting, Congress leader Deepak Babaria said that the discussion was held and it was CEC’s opinion that a discussion should be held on March 11.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge is the chairperson of the committee and its members include former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

The Lok Sabha polls are likely to be held in April-May this year. (ANI)

Karunakaran’s Daughter Joins BJP

In another setback to the Congress party ahead of the coming Lok Sabha polls, Padmaja Venugopal, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) general secretary and late Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunakaran’s daughter, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here in the national capital in the presence of party’s Rajya Sabha MP Prakash Javdekar and several other leaders.

Venugopal said that she was not happy with the grand old party.

” I am so happy, A little bit tense because I stood with my party for so many years. For the first time, I am changing a party, because I was not happy with the Congress party for so many years. Especially, from the last assembly elections,” she said while addressing the media.

“I even sought an appointment from the central leadership, but they couldn’t give me one. My father had the same experience. He was also unhappy. So, that is why I took the decision,” she added.

Attacking the Congress party, Venugopal said that there is no “leadership” in the party.

“I didn’t ask for anything, rather I wanted to work peacefully. I believe that strong leadership should be there in each party. In the Congress party, there is no leadership. I have immense respect for Soniaji but I couldn’t see her. Because of the fact that she didn’t give me an appointment,” she said.

Padmaja Venugopal also heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that he is a strong leader.

“I believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modiji is a very strong leader; this is the sole reason why joined this party,” she said.

Meanwhile, Prakash Javdekar welcomed Venugopal to the party and asserted that the BJP would create history in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

“There is going to be a big churning in Kerala. I welcome Padmajaji. We are very happy. Our Prime Minister has given us a target and we are going to create history in the coming Lok Sabha polls,” Javdekar said.

Venugopal, in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, contested from Mukundapuram (now Chalakudy) but lost. She contested the Kerala Assembly elections in 2016 and 2021 but lost both times.

Venugopal has served as Congress vice-president and was recently appointed as the general secretary of the KPCC.

The BJP, in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, drew a blank while the grand old party swept 19 out of 20 in the state.

The Lok Sabha polls are slated to be held in April-May this year. (ANI)

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