Former Kerala CM Oomen Chandy;LoP Chennithala file nominations

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Kottayam/Alappuzha, Mar 16 (PTI) Former Kerala Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday filed their nominations for the April 6 assembly elections in the state.

Chandy, who is contesting from Puthuppally constituency in Kottayam district, filed his nomination at the Pambady block office in Pallikkathodu at around 11.30 AM.

Chennithala, who is seeking the people's mandate from Haripad constituency in Alappuzha district, filed his nomination from Harippad block office at 12.10 pm.

Chandy, 77, had completed 50 years as a member of the state Assembly in September last year.

Unbeaten, Chandy has won 11 consecutive times from his home constituency Puthuppally, once a Communist stronghold.

Puthupally had witnessed protests by his supporters last Saturday after media reported that the veteran leader may be fielded from Nemom constituency in Thiruvananthapuram to take on the BJP from its lone seat in the state Assembly.

He was first elected to the Assembly at the age of 27 in 1970.

CPI(M) has fielded its youth leader Jaik C Thomas to take on Chandy in his bastion.

N Hari is the BJP candidate.

Though Haripad is not a Congress bastion, Chennithala has never been defeated in the constituency ever since he entered the electoral fray in 1982.

The 64-year-old leader was elected to the Assembly from the constituency in 1982, 1987, 2011 and 2016.

Chennithala, the former KPCC president, was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Kottayam three times in 1989, 1991 and 1996 and from Mavelikkara in 1999.

CPI's R Sajilal and BJP's K Soman are Chennithala's main rivals in Haripad. PTI TGB APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR