Kerala top cop, businessman may contest LS polls
The Lok Sabha elections in Kerala could see two prominent persons entering the poll fray -- the state's senior most Director General of Police Jacob Thomas and leading businessman Kochouseph Chittilappilly.
The state will vote in the third phase on April 23.
A source in the know of things told IANS talks have been initiated in this regard by Twenty20 Kizhakkambalam, a corporate social responsibility initiative of the Rs 1,500 crore Anna-Kitex group of companies, based near here.
"Sabu M. Jacob, Managing Director of Anna-Kitex, is speaking to Thomas and Chittilappilly, and one of them could be fielded from the Chalakudy Lok Sabha seat in the Thrissur district," the source said.
The seat was represented in the outgoing Lok Sabha by CPI-M-backed independent and ace comedian Innocent. He has been retained by the party. Taking on him is senior Congress leader and United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor Benny Behanan.
Incidentally, 19 members of Twenty20 contested the Kizhakkambalam panchayat elections in 2015 as independents, where the company is based, and 17 of them won.
"They have a support base of close to 30,000 voters in their area, which helped them win the local body polls," said the source.
Thomas was once the blue-eyed boy of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The day Vijayan assumed office as the Chief Minister in May 2016, Thomas was given the plum post of the state vigilance chief.
However, he was moved out next year and was later suspended in 2017 by Vijayan for violation of the All India Service Rules. Thomas continues to be under suspension.
Thomas will retire from the service in 2020, but will have to quit if he wants to contest the elections.
Chittilappilly is a leading businessman and Managing Director of V Guard Industries Ltd with interests in electronic appliances, amusement parks and textiles.
He has been in the news for conducting business in an upright manner. In 2011, Chittilappilly famously donated one kidney to a stranger, a truck driver, and started an organ donor chain.