KOTTAYAM: The CPM’s open support to the Jose K Mani faction of Kerala Congress (M) after its exclusion from UDF and the UDF leadership’s soft-pedalling on resuming compromise talks with Jose faction have been putting pressure on Jose to take his political stance sooner than later.The delay in taking a decision is likely to cost Jose dearly as confusion is prevailing among the rank and file of the faction over the next move of its leadership.
Moreover, the delay has triggered speculation of differences in opinion at the helm of the party with reports of party MP Thomas Chazhikadan and MLA Roshy Augustine opposing Jose K Mani for taking the party to LDF camp. The reports also stated that N Jayaraj MLA offered all support to Jose’s decisions, while Roshy reportedly met AICC member Oommen Chandy requesting the latter’s intervention to return to the UDF.
However, Chazhikadan, Jayaraj and Roshy dismissed the reports later in the day. “Such reports are baseless. Roshy didn’t meet Oommen Chandy and there are no differences of opinion between us. There is no change in our stance. We are moving ahead as a united party. We will take an appropriate decision at the right time,” Chazhikadan clarified.
Speaking to reporters in Idukki, Roshy said there won’t be any change in the decision, which was taken collectively by the party leadership. “We stick to all our decisions, which were taken after UDF expelled us for no reason. Our political decisions do not change overnight,” Roshy said.There are also rumours that CPM wants merger of Kerala Congress factions led by Scaria Thomas, Antony Raju and Jose as a condition for Jose faction’s entry to the LDF.
Though, Jose K Mani is planning to complete interaction with party’s various committee members from lower level to district level and local body members to report his stance by July 10, he is unlikely to declare a political stance before upcoming local election, which is slated to be held in third or fourth week of October, according to sources. Instead, he is planning to tie up with different political parties in different regions based on local issues and political strength of the party.
“Unlike Parliament and Assembly elections, local issues are being raised in local body elections and people vote on the basis of such issues. We are planning to forge tie-ups based on such issues. By taking such a stand, we can prove our strength in our strongholds and further strengthen our bargaining capacity in future talks with any of the political fronts,” said a prominent leader of the Jose faction.However, confusion is prevailing in the leadership whether such a stand will be accepted by people. Hence, leaders are also considering others options, keeping alive party’s chances in both UDF and LDF. However, no formal discussions have taken place with both coalitions so far.