In debut into national politics, Kerala former chief minister Oommen Chandy is likely to contest in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
A 10-time MLA and two-time chief minister, Chandy has left the decision on his candidature to the Congress high command, after expressing initial reluctance.
Political analysts feel that the Congress leadership would be more than happy to field Chandy in the fray as he is a highly winnable candidate owing to his popularity. Chandy shifting to national politics could be a relief for the Congress 'I' group in Kerala, led by Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.
Chandy, a Congress A-group leader, could be an obstacle for Chennithala's chief ministerial aspirations, sources said, provided the Congress-led UDF wins in the next Kerala Assembly elections. This, however, could be avoided if Chandy shifts to national politics.
Meanwhile, the suggestion that Chandy may contest from Kottayam or Idukki district has not gone down well with the Kerala Congress (Mani), a coalition partner of the Congress-led UDF, as that party was staking claim to these two constituencies.
Candidate selection in the Congress camps in the state has gained momentum. Prominent persons who almost ensured their sitting seats are: Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram, K C Venugopal in Alappuzha and Kodikunnil Suresh in Mavelikara.