THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF leadership is feeling the heat with the two warring factions of the Kerala Congress (Mani) in no mood to reconcile themselves to the Kottayam district panchayat president’s postsharing mechanism. The PJ Joseph faction has already put the responsibility on the UDF leadership to ensure that the truce on post - sharing is implemented. As per the agreement worked out by the UDF, the Jose K Mani faction was supposed to hold the post for eight months and then hand it over to the Joseph faction for the remaining six months, starting from March 24.
But the latter waited for an additional 50 days owing to the lockdown before giving a letter to Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, requesting him to take the initiative. Sebastian Kulathungal of the Jose faction is the current Kottayam district panchayat president. A source close to Joseph told TNIE that he is peeved with the UDF leadership — including KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran, UDF convener Benny Behanan MP and Muslim League national general secretary PK Kunhalikutty MP — for their failure to implement the agreement.
Kunhalikutty’s intermediary-level talks also did not bear fruit. Former MP Joy Abraham, now with the Joseph faction, said the ball is in the leadership’s court to ensure that everything remains intact. However, a Jose faction leader said the leadership has taken a firm decision not to step down. A few days ago, Jose K Mani had held talks with Chennithala where he expressed his displeasure over the whole issue, putting the UDF leadership in a quandary. However, UDF convener Benny Behanan said unofficial talks are under way to settle the issue.