Will former diplomat Venu Rajamony go the Tharoor way?

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 3 (IANS): There is a buzz in Kerala's political circles over retired diplomat Venu Rajamony's frequent outings with the Congress leaders which has led to speculation that he may go the Shashi Tharoor way -- from being a career envoy to full-fledged political personality.

Rajamony, soon after superannuating from the Indian Foreign Service recently (Indian Ambassador to Netherlands) has been more or less settled in the state capital and the word among Congress workers is he will be given a ticket to contest the assembly election.

Sources believe the possibility has further increased since the past few days, especially after top Congress leaders have been saying there will be surprises galore in their list of candidates.

On Tuesday, Rajamony was at a seminar organised by the research wing of the Congress party. In the event, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared live from New Delhi.

A senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity said that one cannot rule out the candidature of Rajamony.

"He is now seen often among the top brass of our party, here. Look at Shashi Tharoor (who retired as a UN official), though he never had any political experience, he has already registered a hat trick of wins from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat.

"Even his adversaries agree with his stellar performance in the Lok Sabha that people like him are definitely an asset and Rajamony, though not as flamboyant as Tharoor, I am sure can give a shock to any candidate, if he is named to contest by our party. Kerala definitely needs people like Rajamony and if it happens through the Congress party, I don't think there will be any big opposition," said the Congress leader.

The Congress party is considering fielding him from either the Nemom or Vattiyoorkavu assembly constituencies in the state capital city, said sources.

Nemom will certainly be the cynosure of all eyes, as it is from this constituency that the BJP opened its account in the 140-member Kerala assembly in the 2016 election, when party veteran and then 85 years old O. Rajagopal won.

For both the Congress and the CPI-M, this seat this time is going to be crucial and hence Rajamony is seen as the perfect fit.

For the Congress party, Vattiyoorkavu is a must win after it suffered a shock defeat in the assembly by-election last year and the Congress party feels that, in this upcountry constituency, there will be no better person than Rajamony.

Rajamony is quite well known to the Congress party's national leadership by virtue of his tenure as the press secretary to then President Pranab Mukherjee.

And if he finally manages to be in the list, his presence could see a spirited high profile election campaign in the capital city.

Rajamony can breathe easy that the state capital has always given the thumbs up to people with a similar background like his, like former Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon and the flamboyant Tharoor.



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