Kerala Assembly polls: Cong MLA expresses willingness to withdraw candidature

Congress MLA Benny Behanan, a key aide of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, on Monday expressed his willingness to withdraw his candidature, alleging that KPCC chief VM Sudheeran is against his renomination from Thrikkakkara Assembly constituency in Ernakulam.

Last Updated: Apr 04, 2016, 16:18 PM IST

Kochi: Congress MLA Benny Behanan, a key aide of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, on Monday expressed his willingness to withdraw his candidature, alleging that KPCC chief VM Sudheeran is against his renomination from Thrikkakkara Assembly constituency in Ernakulam.

"My candidature from Thrikkakkara constituency was endorsed by party workers and UDF leaders. But, I have come to know about the KPCC president's reservations against it. I understand that he has some other interests," PTI quoted Behanan as saying.

Adding further, Behanan said, "In such a scenario, it is morally wrong for me to contest the elections, particularly that is against the KPCC chief's wishes. So, I have informed the Congress leadership, expressing my willingness to withdraw my candidature."

His decision came even as the Congress High command is yet to announce the party candidates for the May 16 state Assembly polls.

A decision on Congress candidates is delayed due to the stand-off between Chandy and Sudheeran over candidature of state Excise Minister K Babu, Culture Minister K C Joseph, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash and Behanan.

According to one of the party sources, Sudheeran suggested the name of Congress leader former Idukki MP P T Thomas, known for his environmental activism, for the constituency.

Sudheeran insisted that those facing corruption allegations and had contested more than four times should make way for fresh faces. However, this was not acceptable to Chandy, the sources said.

Chandy, Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala had been in Delhi for the past one week to finalise the list of the candidates from the state and holding discussions with the party high command and returned to Kerala yesterday.