Cong to field candidates in 91 constituencies in Kerala; list expected to be ready by March 14

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New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 12 (PTI): The Congress in Kerala will field candidates in 91 of the 140 constituencies for the April 6 assembly polls and the final list is expected to be released by Sunday.

Kerala PCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ramesh Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters in Delhi that the party will be putting up candidates in 91 seats and candidates have been unanimously finalised in 81 segments.

Discussions are on to finalise candidates for remaining 10 seats.The central election committee of the Congress party, chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi, has decided to field 91 congress candidates in Kerala, Ramachandran said.

'Till now names have been finalised for 81 seats.The final list will be announced on Sunday after deciding on the names of the remaining 10 seats,' Ramachandran said.

Asked if the party had finalised the candidate for the Nemom constituency, the lone seat won by the BJP in the 2016 assembly polls, Chennithala said it would not be a weak candidate.

Speculation is rife that the congress high command was keen that either Chandy or Chennithala should be prepared to try their luck from the prestigious Nemom seat to wrest it from the saffron party.

None of the MPs would be in the fray this time and no candiate would be fielded from two constituencies, Ramachandran said.

'The party in Kerala is united, UDF is united and the front will win hands down in the coming polls,' he asserted.

The IUML, which has been allotted 27 seats, released its list of 25 candidates, including a woman, on Friday.

Kerala Congress (Joseph) has been allotted 10 seats, while RSP will field candidates in five seats, Nationalist Congress Party Kerala, led by Mani C Kappen, which had recently severed ties with NCP and joined the UDF, will be given two seats, including Pala, Ramachandran said.

One seat each has been allocated to Kerala Congress (Jacob), Bharatiya National Janata Dal and Communist Marxist Party (CMP) led by C P John.

Chennithala said the front will support K K Rema, leader of the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), if she contests from Vadakara.

The day also saw former KPCC general secretary Vijayan Thomas joining the BJP.

Asked about his quitting the party, the leaders said it was not an important matter.

The CPI(M) and CPI of the ruling left front have already announced their candidates, while the BJP is expected to finalise its list by Sunday.PTI RRT UD BN BN