Kerala Youth Cong unhappy with Rahul candidate

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's "candidate hunt'' from the Youth Congress's Kerala unit for the Assembly elections has run roughshod over the sentiments of the party rank and file.

The surprising element was the inclusion of K T Benny as the candidate for Chalakkudy seat and the exclusion of former Youth Congress state president T Siddique.

Benny, handpicked by Rahul, is not familiar in Kerala YC. The state leadership of the YC could not even figure out who Benny was. "The YC list from Kerala did not carry his name. He was forced from the Delhi coterie. We have learnt he was a nominee of the YC election body," said sources.

Benny said he worked as returning officer during the recent YC organisational elections at Thirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. "I was credited with creating the highest number of YC memberships."

On the other hand, denial of a seat to Siddique, who had led many agitations against the current LDF government, has led to widespread protests.

Siddique, a loyalist of Oommen Chandy, was removed as state president of the YC in 2009 after Rahul nominated M Liju through a talent hunt. This had led to protests from YC cadres.

Subsequently, Rahul was forced to reinstate Siddique as state YC president. However, after the LS elections in 2009, Siddique was dropped again. The protests and the subsequent revoking of the decision had obviously embarrassed Rahul. Since then, Siddique was sidelined.

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