The 77-year-old two time former Congress Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy is confident that the electoral history of Kerala will remain intact as in every election, the opposition returns to power. Counting of votes will begin at 8 am on Sunday for the 140-member Kerala Assembly.
The veteran leader was at his residence here after returning from Kannur, where he went to attend the funeral of VV Prakash, his junior party colleague and the party’s candidate at the Nilambur assembly constituency, who passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest, two days back.
In a chat with IANS, Chandy said, the Congress party does not give much importance to the numerous exit polls, which have all said that Pinarayi Vijayan will create history by becoming the first to retain power.
“Neither my party, nor me subscribe to these exit polls as it has not come right here,” said Chandy and put forward his rationale on why he and his party is confident, that they will return to power.
“One major reason why we feel, Vijayan will not come back is, there is a feeling among a good section of the party, for the best interest of their party, Vijayan has to lose, as he has turned into an autocrat. Then came the manner in which 33 sitting CPI-M legislators were not given the nod to contest. From our side, it’s the first time that we fielded new faces in more than half of the constituencies. These are all factors why we are confident, we will return,” said Chandy.
Chandy also pointed out that there are alleged reports of a secret tie up between the BJP and the CPI-M, as the BJP’s enemy is the Congress party.
“The BJP’s game plan is if they have to make any ground in Kerala, they have to finish off Congress and the secret pact was for this. But it appears that the RSS was not keen on this pact. Even the slowing down of the probe by the various central agencies in the gold smuggling and similar cases is because of this pact as all knows that if strong action is taken in the cases, the direct beneficiary would be the Congress party,” added Chandy.
Chandy said on Saturday he will go to his home constituency Puthupally in Kottayam where he is seeking his 12th successive win, a seat which has returned him since his debut election in 1970.
And when asked when he will be back, he said, “I will return here on Sunday night as discussions will have to begin from Monday.”
Discussions mean, Chandy is one of the top contenders for the post of the Chief Minister, though he will see a strong challenge by Ramesh Chennithala- Leader of Opposition, as in the past all former opposition leaders from the Congress has gone on to become the Chief Minister.
“I have not applied my mind to such things. The normal practice is it’s the AICC which takes the final call. So first let us wait for the results,” said Chandy.
Chandy’s health continues to be in the recovery mode after turning Covid negative, last month, but all knows the energy levels of not just Chandy, any politician will rise instantly, when power returns.