KOTTAYAM: K M Mani, the chairman of KC(M), succeeded in making a split in the Joseph faction and holding back its senior leaders including P J Joseph, Mons Joseph and T U Kuruvila to their fold.
As earlier reported by Express, Francis George, Antony Raju, Dr K C Joseph and P C Joseph severed ties with KC(M), hoping to revive Kerala Congress(J). Meanwhile, KC(M) leadership claimed that the incident could not be considered as a split and it was rather a case of some persons with vested interests quitting the party. But it is likely to affect the UDF, especially, KC(M) in the upcoming Assembly polls in central Travancore.
The repercussions of split will be reflected in some constituencies in Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam.
Taking in to account the possible seat allocation by LDF for the new faction, KC(M) will have to face tough challenge in Changanassery, Idukki, and Congress in Moovattupuzha, if Dr K C Joseph, P C Joseph and Francis George are going to contest in these constituencies respectively.
Moreover, the issues, being raised by Francis George and team as the reason for the split, may cost dear for UDF in Idukki. According to Dr K C Joseph, KC(M) turned a blind eye towards many issues of settler-farmers in Idukki, including the crisis emerged after demarcation of Ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) in the Kasthurirangan report and pattayam (title deeds) issues. “KC(M) failed miserably in highlighting the issues in the areas, where Kerala Congress holds strong representation. No steps were taken to address the issues. When UPA government put the settler farmers in dire straits, KC(M) could not make fruitful intervention to resolve the crisis,” said Dr K C Joseph.
Joseph Disowns Dissidents
Idukki: Kerala Congress (M) working chairman and Water Resource Minister P J Joseph has disowned his former lieutenant Francis George and team, in their move to quit the party. “I don’t agree with their decision to quit the party. They should have continued in the party,” he said.
Kerala Congress splits
March 2016 : Split in KC (M). Francis George, Antony Raju and K C Joseph leave the party and their leader P J Joseph.
May 2010 : Joseph merges with Mani as KC (M). In the Assembly elections in 2011, UDF allotted 15 seats to the party. The Mani faction contested in 10 seats, George in one and the Joseph group in four. Out of the nine who won, three were from the Joseph and five from the Mani group along with George.
April 2010 : KC led by P J Joseph with four MLAs part ways with ruling LDF. However, V Surendran Pillai stayed with LDF with P C Thomas as leader and went on to become a minister in the Cabinet led by VS Achuthanandan for eight months. Thomas faction was later named as KC (Anti Merger) following a dispute with KC.
2003 : P C George forms KC (Secular) following differences with Joseph.
1991 : KC (Joseph) gets an entry into the LDF as a constituent before assembly elections.
1989 : Joseph with five MLAs leaves UDF following disputes over a Parliament seat. Balakrishna Pillai who stayed with UDF disqualified as MLA under anti defection act
1987 : KC split as KC (Joseph) and KC (Mani). However, both parties stay with UDF