KOTTAYAM: Even as the UDF leadership has started all-out efforts to put an end to the infighting in the Kerala Congress (M) ahead of the Pala byelection, it appears that the crisis is escalating as both factions stick to their stance.
While PJ Joseph remains adamant on his demand for fielding a “consensus candidate”, Jose K Mani and team are of the view that Joseph and his supporters have no locus standi in Pala, which is the constituency of KC(M) stalwart KM Mani. Joseph told reporters in Thodupuzha the party has not considered a candidate for the election. “The search for a winnable candidate is still on. An acceptable candidate for all will be ideal for Pala,” he said.
Joseph also denied reports of conducting any consensus meeting with Jose K Mani. Later in the evening, Joseph’s loyalists convened a meeting in a private hotel at Kodimatha in Kottayam to discuss their future course of action.
The Jose faction came down heavily on Joseph faction’s meeting. “In the UDF meeting held on Monday, it was decided that the Pala seat belongs to the Jose faction. UDF leaders said Jose will decide the candidate for Pala and Joseph should accept this. It is in violation of this decision that Joseph convened the meeting in Kottayam to interfere in the process of selecting the candidate,” said a leader of the Jose faction. According to sources, the Jose faction will finalise the candidate in a meeting to be held in Kottayam on Thursday.
LDF likely to announce candidate tomorrow
With the district secretariat meeting of the CPM here deciding to allot the seat to the Nationalist Congress Party, the chances of Mani C Kappan contesting as the LDF candidate have brightened further. A formal announcement of the candidate’s name, however, will be made only after the LDF state committee meeting on Thursday.
Courts postpone cases to Friday
KOTTAYAM: Making the political situation more complex for UDF ahead of the Pala byelection, the Kattappana Sub-Court on Tuesday postponed pronouncing its order to August 30 on an appeal filed by Jose K Mani against an injunction order issued by the Idukki Munsiff Court preventing him from officiating as the chairman of the Kerala Congress (M). The court said it needs further hearing before pronouncing the verdict. The Kottayam Munsiff Court, which is considering a petition filed by Jose faction members against the disciplinary action initiated by Joseph against 21 steering committee members, also posted the case for hearing on August 30.