KOTTAYAM: The Congress-led UDF has announced Jose Tom Pulikkunnel, a leader of the Jose K Mani faction in the Kerala Congress(M), as its candidate for the September 23 assembly by-election in Pala.
The candidature of Pulikkunnel, former president of Meenachil Grama Panchayath, was announced on Sunday evening by Ramesh Chennithala, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly.
Earlier, the Jose K Mani faction nominated Pulikkunnel as the party candidate putting an end to the uncertainty in deciding the party candidate to succeed Kerala Congress (M) supremo and former Finance Minister K M Mani who had represented constituency for five decades.
The by-poll was necessitated following the demise of Mani on April 9.
The name of Nisha Jose K Mani, wife of Jose K Mani, was actively considered for the seat but the group dropped the plan due to strong opposition by another faction headed by former minister P J Joseph in the Kerala Congress (M).
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Mani C Kappan is the candidate of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF).
He filed his nomination last week.
Kappan, also a film producer and actor, is trying his electoral luck for the fourth consecutive time now from Pala, which had been represented by Mani for over five decades in the state Assembly.
All the three times he had lost to Mani, who had been one of the leading figures of Kerala politics for nearly five decades.