KOTTAYAM: There seems to be no respite to the factional feud in Kerala Congress(M) over electing the new party chairman and parliamentary party leader. The PJ Joseph and Jose K Mani factions were engaged in a war of words just before the remembrance meeting of KM Mani here on Monday.
Toughening his stance, party acting chairman P J Joseph turned down the demands of the Mani faction leaders to convene a meeting of the party state committee to elect the new party chairman. In Thodupuzha, Joseph said the reason should be intimated to the party leadership if state committee is needed to be convened. At the same time, Joseph said the party’s new chairman should be selected through consensus.
“As per the constitution, the chairman shall be elected through consensus,” Joseph said referring to the clause on filling the casual vacancies, including the chairman. Joseph said as per a formula that came up in the informal discussions, Jose K Mani shall become the working chairman. “C F Thomas, who is the deputy leader in the assembly, will naturally become the next parliamentary party leader,” he said.
Meanwhile, Roshi Augustine, who owes allegiance to Jose K Mani, came out against Joseph’s open statement. According to him, some centres were trying to create factionalism in the party through repeated statements, at a time, when the party should stand together after the demise of K M Mani.
Launching an indirect attack on Joseph, Roshi said party chairman should be elected not on the basis personal perception of any of the leaders.
He pointed out that the party’s constitution clearly lays out the proceedings to select a chairman by convening the party state committee.
“It should be done in a democratic way, accepting the decision of the majority of members in the committee. There is no doubt that this procedure will be followed in chairman’s election,” he said.