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Congress yet to finalise Aruvikara poll candidate

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Congress yet to finalise Aruvikara poll candidate
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Thiruvananthapuram: KPCC President V M Sudheeran on Friday said that the party is yet to take a final call on the party candidate for the by-poll to the Aruvikara assembly seat.

“Aruvikara has been a permanent seat of the Congress for a long time. We still have time to finalize the candidate for the election. We will continue the discussion on the matter,” Sudheeran said.

Even though the Election Commission is yet to notify the schedule for the by-poll to the Aruvikara assembly seat, the rival fronts in Kerala and also the BJP see this election as the 'mother of all battles'.

He said the Congress would strengthen the organisational activities in the constituency as the by-election would be a warmup to the local bodies polls to be held later this year and the assembly elections, due next year.

The seat fell vacant due to death of assembly speaker and senior Congress leader G. Karthikeyan early this month. Karthikeyan represented this constituency for the past five terms. Located in the suburbs of the state capital, the seat was renamed from Aryanadu to Aruvikara following delimitation in 2011.

Earlier, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, state Congress president V.M. Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala visited Karthikeyan's widow M.T. Sulekha, a retired college professor, and requested her to contest the seat.

Sources said that she is most likely to contest and if she does not, then one of her two sons would be fielded.

The Left Democratic Front, led by the CPI-M, had held its opening meeting in Aruvikara on Tuesday.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party, an LDF ally for several decades, used to contest on this seat. After being denied a seat in the previous Lok Sabha polls, they moved over to the Congress-led UDF and, as a result, the CPM has decided to take over the seat.

The naming of the candidate is secondary and the work has already begun, said newly-appointed CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

The name of former speaker and state minister M. Vijayakumar is doing the rounds as the LDF candidate.

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