KOTTAYAM: Though the UDF leadership on Wednesday clarified that the Jose K Mani-led faction of the Kerala Congress (M) was not expelled from the coalition, Jose stuck to its belligerent stand over the Kottayam district panchayat president post. This, even as one more leader from his faction crossed over to the rival P J Joseph faction. While UDF said Jose would be invited to its meetings after he executes the agreement over the change of guard in the panchayat, Jose reiterated such an understanding never existed. “The UDF did not make any political correction in its earlier announcement, but only reiterated its stance after a technical clarification on the exclusion. We did not commit any mistake. Hence, there is no room for any correction on our part,” Jose said.
Meanwhile, the Jose camp is slightly disturbed over the migration of his followers to the rival faction led by P J Joseph.Following in the footsteps of Jose faction’s district level leader Josmon Mundakkal, its state leader Prince Lukose, a former president of Kerala Youth Front(M), also quit the group to join the Joseph-led faction on Wednesday. Earlier, a couple of councillors of Pala municipality, the stronghold of Jose K Mani, had joined the Joseph camp. Taking advantage of the situation, the Joseph camp has launched all-out efforts to bring the maximum number of local body members and grassroots workers to its fold.
Senior leaders in Jose faction have already sent a warning signal to Jose with regard to the development and asked him to decide on the future course of action without delay. “We have to sort out the issues at the earliest and take a political decision before the procedures for local body elections begin to keep our cadre with us. A political decision won’t be delayed for long,” said a Jose faction leader.