Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 21 (IANS) K.V. Thomas, former union minister and senior Congress leader is likely to contest the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections as an LDF candidate from the Ernakulam seat, his traditional bastion.
Thomas was a former union minister of state (Independent charge) for Food and Civil supplies in the Manmohan Singh government. He has been a member of the Lok Sabha for six terms and was an MLA for two terms. He was also Minister for Tourism in the A.K. Antony government in Kerala.
The senior Congress leader who is a big force among the Latin Catholic community has been sulking since he was denied a seat in the last general elections.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Mullappally Ramachandran, former Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala have tried to console Thomas and promised him an apt post during the state unit’s rejig. However, it was not fulfilled.
Instead was given the responsibilities of the party publications “Veekshanam News Paper ” and Jaihind TV”. Both the entities are in deep debts and Thomas did not accept the posting.
A senior leader close to Thomas, speaking to IANS on conditions of anonymity said: “Thomas has already met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and worked out the intricacies.
“He will contest from the Ernakulam seat which he had won earlier as a Congress candidate. Not just that the seat was not given to him by Congress but he was also insulted by several leaders in the party and he had to take this extreme step.”
CPI-M has already welcomed KV Thomas into its fold and party’s Ernakulam District Secretary C.N. Mohanan told the media: “Let things turn out and once he announces his decision publicly we will discuss the matter in the party and support him. Let him first announce his decision.”
Thomas has excellent rapport with the CPI-M national leadership and party general secretary Sitaram Yechury and politburo member M.A. Baby had stayed at his place last year during a programme in Ernakulam.
If Thomas switches sides, then the Ernakulam assembly seat — a Congress bastion — may see go.
Ernakulam is the stronghold of the Latin Catholic community and there is no leader of the stature of KV Thomas in the party in Ernakulam and hence this will be a major shocker for the Congress.
Congress leader Chennithala told the media: “I don’t think that KV Thomas will leave the party, he will continue”.
Thomas will address the media on January 23 and is likely announce his decision.