KOTTAYAM: In the wake of a request made by Legislative Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan to Kerala Congress (M) leadership to elect its Parliamentary Party Leader before June 9, the Mani faction is likely to toughen its stance against party acting chairman PJ Joseph.
The Mani faction is planning to make all-out efforts to convene its state committee meeting at the earliest to elect its chairman. It is the acting chairman, who should issue a direction to the party general secretary, who is holding an organisational charge, to convene the state committee.
However, since Joseph is reluctant to convene the state committee meeting, for the time being, the Mani faction members in the state committee, who has around 80 per cent representation, are likely to come up with a letter urging Joseph to convene the meeting at an immediate date citing the letter of the Speaker.
“As per the party’s constitution, the Parliamentary Party Leader should be elected by a meeting of the Parliamentary Party members, chaired by the party chairman. Hence, the chairman should be elected first, and for that the state committee should be convened at the earliest,” said a senior Mani faction leader.
Meanwhile, rumblings of discontent over electing the party chairman and Parliamentary Party Leader intensified with Mons Joseph MLA handing over a letter to the Speaker requesting to allow Joseph to occupy K M Mani’s seat. With Joseph being the Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader of KC (M), he naturally got the charge of the leader following the demise of K M Mani, who was the leader, as per the letter. However, this has provoked the Mani faction, prompting Roshi Augustine, a close loyalist of Jose K Mani, to submit a separate request to the Speaker, seeking more time to elect KC (M)’s Parliamentary Party Leader.
“We have no difference of opinion with regard to allocating seat to Joseph. But Mons handed over the letter to the Speaker on his own,” said Jose K Mani. Mani faction leaders are of the view that Joseph’s position as acting leader in the Assembly will be regularised if there is delay in formally electing the leader.
“There is no doubt that Parliamentary Party Leader and chairman are positions of the Mani faction as per the terms and conditions during the merger. However, we can make some adjustments if needed,” said a leader.