Will widow of Congress legislator PT Thomas contest Kerala assembly bypoll?

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The question that’s doing the political rounds is will the widow of Congress legislator P.T. Thomas contest the upcoming by-election to the Thrikkakara assembly constituency in Ernakulam district.

On December 22 last year the 71-year-old popular Congress legislator Thomas, who represented the constituency, passed away.

The seat is vacant and early this month the top brass of the state Congress made a beeline to her house and tongues started to wag that Uma Thomas, the widow of Thomas, might contest.

On Friday, things became clearer when she took part in a protest near here over the 2017 actress abduction case in which actor Dileep is an accused and was arrested and put in jail. He is now out on bail.

Thomas was the first person who came to meet the actress as soon as he came to know of the incident and when she was at the residence of a leading actor, after the abduction episode.

Seeing Uma at the protest venue, the media asked her if she is going to contest. Pat came the standard answer, “I don’t know anything as these things are decided by the party high command. If I come to know of anything I will let the media know about it,” said Uma and sped away.

Thomas had one term in the Lok Sabha and was a four-time legislator.

In 2016 and 2021 Thomas won easy victories from Thrikkakara assembly constituency.

In the 2016 polls Thomas defeated veteran Sebastian Paul of the Left with a margin of 11,966 votes and five years later Thomas increased his victory margin to 14,329 votes. On both occasions there was a wave in favour of the CPI-M led Left.

All eyes are now on the yet to be announced by-election, especially the CPI-M, as they have the now disgruntled veteran local Congress leader K.V. Thomas, who has been stripped of the post that he held in the state unit of the party. This happenned after the disciplinary committee of the Congress recommended this action when he failed to heed the directive of party president Sonia Gandhi not to attend the 23rd CPI-M party Congress.

Thomas also hails from Ernakulam and when asked about the impending by-election and what his position would be, he said “I will be with those who pursue development politics,” and added that he will always be a Congressman.

For Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who got a second term, the first in Kerala for any CPI-M chief minister, the by-election is going to be an acid test. They received a shot in the arm recently when the son of a local top Indian Union Muslim League leader, also the vice-chairman of the Thrikkakara municipality, was involved in a gold smuggling case which they are going to raise during election time.

The IUML is the second biggest ally of the Congress led UDF.

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