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Congress releases Kerala candidates list, Thomas axed

IANS  |  New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram 

The Congress, which is contesting 16 of Kerala's 20 seats, on Saturday announced 12 of its candidates. While most of its eight sitting MPs have been re-nominated, a shock exclusion was of former Union

Thomas, the sitting member from Ernakulam, has been replaced by

In Kerala, where polling will be held on April 23, in the third of the seven phase elections, the other four seats will be contested by other members of the Congress-led - the Indian Union 2, and the and and the Congress-Mani one each.

The Congress's first list, released in Delhi, includes sitting MPs Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram), (Mavelikera) M.K. Raghavan (Kozhikode) and (Pathanamthitta).

The other candidates are Raj Mohan Unnithan (Kasargode), (Kannur), (Palakkad), (Alathur), Benny Behanan (Chalakudy), (Thrissur), and

Mullapally Ramachandran, who is the sitting from Vadakara, had already made it clear that he took over the on the condition that he will not seek re-election, while K.C. Venugopal, who represents Alappuzha, and has been appointed the party General Secretary, Organization, has also said that he will not contest because of his added responsibilities.

M.I. Shahnawaz, the sitting member from Wayanad, had passed away last year.

Candidates for Alappuzha, Wayanad, Attingal and Vadakara is expected to be announced on Sunday.

Expressing his anguish, Thomas, considered close to former Sonia Gandhi, told media in that being left out is by far the biggest shock of his life.

"Is being 72 years my fault... I do not know what wrong I have done. I have been a seven-time member and no one had given any hint of what has happened now. I have not been told the reason on why I have been left out. No one can make me a curry leaf to be thrown away," said a peeved Thomas, who was a in the second

Eden said he has just got the information about his nomination and am happy to contest.

"I am sure Thomas will be there to guide me through the campaign," he said.

Unnithan, a long-time and known for his quick wit, had a quick retort when asked about his chances from Kasargode in north since he hails from Kollam in the state's south.

"I will reach where I have to reach (the Lok Sabha)," he said.

Young Remya Haridas, presently of a local body in her home town, said that she is confident of her chances as she has been working with the people for a while.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 23:54 IST