KOTTAYAM: It is after 50 years that a person from outside the Karingozhakkal family is being fielded as UDF candidate from Pala. Sixty-three-year-old Jose Tom Pulikkunnel’s initiation into student politics began after he received membership of the KSC - the student wing of the Kerala Congress - from KM Mani in 1969 when he was a Class VIII student.
He was chairman of St George College, Aruvithura and general secretary of St Thomas College, Pala. In 1980, he was elected general secretary of Kerala University Union. He was also the general secretary of Youth Front.
Pulikkunnel who has a master’s in Commerce pursued LLB from Thiruvananthapuram Law College. He was elected to Kottayam District Council representing Pala in 1991. Pulikkunnel also served as a Senate member of MG University from 1984 to 1992. He was a member of Meenachil grama panchayat and Kottayam District Cooperative Bank.
With the decision, Jose K Mani established his supremacy by garnering the support of UDF leadership. According to the sources, Pulikkunnel will complete the next two-year term and then Nisha or Jose K Mani will contest from Pala in the next assembly poll.
Currently, he is the state general secretary of the Kerala Congress Jose faction.
Earlier, Joseph faction held a meeting in order to resist the move to field Nisha Jose K Mani. Joy Abraham and Mons Joseph accompanied Joseph to the UDF meeting. However, they were all shocked by the announcement of Pulikkunnel.
Meanwhile, resentment is brewing in Jose faction against not fielding Nisha from Karingozhakkal family, it is learnt.