No change in decision not to contest Kerala polls: Congress MLA Prathapan

Kochi, Apr 3: Congress leader and three-time MLA T N Prathapan on Sunday rejected reports that he wrote to party vice president Rahul Gandhi seeking a seat to contest the May 16 Kerala Assembly elections despite announcing that he would opt out of the poll fray.

Prathapan, a close confidant of KPCC president V M Sudheeran, said he had not changed his position and his decision not to contest the elections this time had been conveyed to Gandhi.

T N Prathapan

Talking to reporters on his arrival from New Delhi, he alleged a "conspiracy" behind the reports that he had written to Gandhi seeking Kaippamangalam Assembly seat.

"There is no change in my position. I am not contesting the Assembly elections this time. No youth leader should lose his opportunity to contest polls because of me. I have conveyed it to Rahul Gandhi," he said, dismissing reports that the Congress vice president had read out his letter in a meeting of top party leaders from the state.

Prathapan said he was summoned to Delhi yesterday by Rahul Gandhi. "He urged me to contest polls from Kaipamangalam. The reports about my letter came as I was reconsidering my decision," he said.

Alleging "brilliant conspiracy" behind the whole episode, Prathapan said, "There are many who do not want him to see as an MLA again because of my uncompromising stand against corruption. I will continue my fight against corruption and land grabbers in the state. Doesn't matter whether I am an MLA or not."

Youth Congress state president Dean Kuriakose had hit out at Prathapan, alleging that his "change" in position was "a double standard" and it has spoilt the chance of a youth leader whose name had been proposed for Kaipamangalam.


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