Media speculation rises as BJP, Cong yet to announce names for Kerala polls

Kerala Assembly elections

As the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are yet to announce their candidate lists for the upcoming Kerala Assembly polls, the media is raking up many names.

One name which the media has raised in each and every state election is that of superstar Mammootty and this time, too, it is no different.

This speculation had a shelf life till the Communist Party of India (Marxist) released its candidate list. Asked about his political leanings, Mammootty said he clearly has a political leaning but till now he has not been asked to contest the upcoming Assembly elections.

"There is lot of freedom for the media reporters when it comes to naming probable candidates of political parties and the ground rule is nothing but to run his/her imagination wild and come out with names which create a buzz. The moment one TV channel comes out, the others are also not far behind and finally when it comes to the actual candidate list, a huge majority of the hyped names that were doled out fail to figure. But then no one remembers what was said as all start to go after the actual electoral list. This is what happens all the time and this time also it's been the same," said a media critic who requested anonymity.

In the past few days, one name that has taken centrestage in all TV news reports has been that of two-time former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader, Oommen Chandy. By now all the TV channels are naming him as the Congress candidate from Nemom in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, often referred to as the Gujarat of Kerala by the state BJP leaders as that's the only seat which the BJP had won in the 140-member Kerala Assembly during the 2016 Kerala polls.

"I do not know from where you (media) get all this news as I have not thought of contesting out of Puthupally where I have contested the previous 11 elections," commented Chandy but even after his denial, TV channels continue running the same news.

Even though the Congress candidates list is yet to be released and Nemom continues to be in the news, the other names that surfaced in the media include Congress Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor, K. Muraleedharan, among others. The latest name doing the rounds is that of acclaimed film personality Major Ravi.

But soon after arriving from New Delhi on Saturday morning, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, said out of the 91 Assembly seats that the Congress is contesting, 81 seats have been finalised and the remaining 10 would be finalised on Saturday. State Congress President Mullapally Ramachandran will announce it on Sunday.

With the BJP yet to reveal its candidates list, the major name that none in the media could play up was that of Metroman E. Sreedharan. Only after it was revealed by the State BJP President, K. Surendran, did Kerala come to know that he would be a BJP candidate.

Among the numerous names that continue to be floated around is that of yesteryear actress Maneka Suresh, the mother of the National award winning actress, Keerthi Suresh.

In the CPI(M) ranks, one name which was raised was that of youth leader of the CPI(M) and a hugely popular face on all TV channels defending his party to the hilt -- A. A. Rahim who was missing when the list surfaced. Strangely none of the media could play up the name of Mohammed Riyaz, the son-in-law of current Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as a likely candidate.

Riyaz has already started his campaign in the Beypore constituency in Kozhikode district.

The candidates list of both the BJP and the Congress is expected by Sunday.



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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