Thiruvananthapuram: NCP leader and film producer Mani C. Kappen will contest the Pala Assembly by-election as a Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate. The voting for the bypoll is scheduled on September 23.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), at its meeting held here on Wednesday, gave the green signal for Kappen's candidature, which will be officially cleared by the LDF later in the day.
The bypoll to the Pala seat was necessitated following the death of Kerala Congress (Mani) veteran K.M. Mani in April. Mani represented the consituency for 49 years since 1967.
After Mani's death, the party split into two factions -- one led by his son and Rajya Sabha member Jose K. Mani and the other by P.J. Joseph.
Kappen, 63, is an actor, producer and director besides being the treasurer of the Kerala unit of the NCP. He lost to Mani on three previous occasions.
In 2016, Kappen lost the election to the Pala Assembly seat, but managed to reduce Mani's vote margin significantly.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance is yet to announce its candidate for the bypoll. "Everything has been decided. The NDA meeting will be held in two days and the candidate would be announced from Delhi," said state BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.