KOTTAYAM: Thirty seven years after the formation of Kerala Congress (M) by K M Mani, which emerged as a major political force in the state with its base in Central Travancore, a major change of guard seemingly awaits the party in the form of an indefinite fast being launched by Jose K Mani, party general secretary and the son of K M Mani, in Kottayam, on Monday.
The indefinite fast, seeking the Union Government’s urgent intervention in addressing the grave crisis of rubber farmers in the state, has already drawn the attention of state with its expected political implications as it is likely to become a launch pad for Jose to take the reins of the party from his father. Moreover, Jose, who has been representing Kottayam constituency in the Parliament for the past seven years, is seemingly coming out of the shadow of his father by taking himself the risk of one of the major protests in the agrarian sector.
Being a protest seeking Centre’s intervention, the outcome of protest is expected to be crucial for Jose, as it will be the first litmus test for him to prove his mettle in successfully executing a protest as well as leading the party in the path of success, in view of the fact that he was under severe attack from within and outside the party after he announced his plans to launch the hunger protests.
Interestingly, Jose was born only three months after K M Mani became a member in the State Assembly, and his rise was always under the shadow of his MLA father. It is high time to prove that he is capable to lead the party.
Moreover, Jose has taken the mantle of the protests at a time when party is going through a crucial situation that emerged after the surfacing of bar bribery controversy and the resignation of party chairman K M Mani from the UDF Cabinet.
The controversy not only put the party in a defensive situation but also gave the P J Joseph faction in the party a slight bargaining power as well. However, by inviting P J Joseph, who is the working chairman of the party, to inaugurate the protests, Jose has won the confidence of this faction as well. It is pertinent to note that almost all the leaders of both the factions, were present in the inaugural function.