The Congress high command on Thursday approved the list of its candidates for Lok Sabha polls in Kerala retaining all but two sitting MPs, including Union Ministers Shashi Tharoor and K V Thomas, giving a head start to the party in the campaign against rival Left Democratic Front.
P T Thomas, at loggerheads with Catholic church in the Christian-dominated Idukki over the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats, failed to get re-nomination. Youth Congress state president Dean Kuriakose has been named for the seat.
Another sitting MP missing this time is N Peethambara Kurup as the Kollam seat he had won has been allocated to RSP which quit LDF and joined UDF last week.
Senior leader P C Chacko has been shifted to Chalakkudi from Thrissur. In a swap, K P Dhanapalan, who had won from Chalakkdi in 2009, has been moved to Thrissur.
After final round of discussions with AICC functionaries, KPCC president V M Sudheeran said in Delhi that the list had been approved and the announcement would be made by AICC latest by Friday.
Tharoor would be seeking a second term from prestigious Thiruvananthapuram seat while Thomas is back in his home turf Ernakulam.
Other Union Ministers to be back in their constituencies are Mullapally Ramachandran (Vatakara), K C Venugopal (Alappuzha) and Kodikunnil Suresh (Mavelikkara).
Sudheeran, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala had held discussions with AICC office bearers in charge of the state.