KOTTAYAM: With the schism between PJ Joseph and Jose K Mani factions deepening in Kerala Congress (M), informal talks to elect the new party chairman and the parliamentary party(PP) leader appear to have hit a roadblock.
After the issue of the party chairman’s election was taken to court, the divide between two factions has widened, destroying the cordial atmosphere for dialogue. It is KC (M) Kollam district secretary Adikkad Manoj who approached the district court the other day against electing the party chairman and other functionaries.
Since Manoj is a close confidant of Jose K Mani, the development has provoked the Joseph faction. Several senior party leaders, irrespective of group affiliation, have voiced concern over dragging the party’s internal matters to the court. “Such a move has not only created a divide between the two factions but it also undid the progress made in the talks till now,” said a KC (M) leader.
According to party insiders, if the standoff continues, it may be difficult to arrive at a consensus on electing chairman and PP leader before the coming Assembly session beginning on May 27. The senior leaders, who initiated for the informal talks, are disappointed with the developments regarding the restructuring at the helm of the organisation. Joy Abraham, KC (M) general secretary, who initiated the informal talks, has a feeling that he was made a scapegoat. He is now desisting from taking further initiatives. A section of the Kerala Youth Front (M), under the aegis of Pala niyojaka mandalam committee, had come out against Joy and demanded his ouster from the party for triggering factionalism. However Youth Front (M) state leadership dismissed this stand and its state president Saji Manjakadambil served show-cause notice on mandalam president Kunjumon Madappad over this.
The first round of talks between two factions didn’t yield any results. One of the formulas put forth by the negotiating leaders was that party working chairman P J Joseph should elected as PP leader. Also, Mani faction leaders C F Thomas and Jose K Mani are to be made chairman and working chairman, respectively under the formula. But, Joseph was reluctant to give up the working chairman’s post.
Instead, Joseph faction suggested an alternative formula. Under this, C F Thomas is to be madePP Leader and Joseph and Jose are to be elevated as chairman and working chairman, respectively.
However, Jose K Mani turned down this suggestion. With pressure mounting on Jose K Mani from his close supporters to become the chairman, he is keeping off further discussions, it is learnt.