Thiruvananthapuram: The political focus in the state will now shift to the byelections in Vattiy-oorkavu, Konni, Aroor and Ernakulam from where legislators have been elected to the Lok Sabha, apart from Manjeswaram and Pala seats which fell vacant due to the death of sitting MLAs.
It is learnt that the Congress may field former Travancore Deva-swom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan, 69, in Vattiyoorkavu with the blessings of NSS leadership.
The other hopefuls include AICC secretary P.C. Vishnunath, KPCC ge-neral secretary Padmaja Venugopal, former Guru-vayur Devaswom Board president N. Peetham-abara Kurup, former Youth Commission chairman R.V. Rajesh and Kerala State Human Rights Commission member K. Mohan Kumar.
Prayar was elected to the Assembly from Chad0ayamangalam in 2001.
During his capacity as TDB president under the then UDF government, he had filed an affidavit against the Sabarimala women entry issue, following which the LDF government removed him from the post.
Recently, he filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on Sabarimala when the BJP government failed to issue an ordinance.Prayar told this newspaper that he will abide by whatever the Congress party decides.
“There is no pressure from my side. If I had contested from Pathana-mthitta as planned earlier, I would have won by a margin of over a lakh votes,” said Prayar who was former chairman of MILMA and also former office-bearer of NSS.
Vattiyoorkavu originally belongs to the ‘I’ group headed by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chenn-ithala.
So Chennithala and sitting MLA Muraleedharan will decide who should contest from there.
Vishnunath has already moved to the city eyeing Vattiyoorkavu.
However, a candidate from outside the district may not be favoured by the local leaders.
A senior Congress MLA told this newspaper that recently Mr Chennithala had sought his opinion about fielding former KPCC vice-president Peethamabara Kurup from Vattiyoorkavu.
“The meetings of KPCC office-bearers and the political affairs committee at Indira Bhavan on Tuesday will discuss the the LS election results and the by-elections to be held within six months,” he said.
The Congress will find it difficult to get a candidate as popular as Mur-aleedharan in Vattiyoorkavu. Shashi Tharoor secured a good lead in Vattiyoorkavu in the Lok Sabha polls. It was earlier considered as a stronghold of the BJP.