THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pala MLA Mani C Kappan, who recently walked out of the ruling LDF, on Monday floated a new party. Formally announcing the formation of Nationalist Congress Kerala at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, Kappan said that he will be its president and Babu Karthikeyan the working president. P Gopinath and Zulfiker Mayuri were named vice- presidents and Siby Thomas will be the treasurer.
The names of 11 district presidents of the party were also announced by Kappan who disclosed that he has urged the UDF to include the NCK in its fold. According to him, the Nationalist Congress Kerala will stake claim to two seats, besides Pala, from the UDF in the coming assembly polls.
“I hope that our demand will be granted eventually. The NCK will demand three seats in the assembly elections. I had helped the LDF wrest Pala in the assembly byelection when the front (LDF) was actually on the ventilator after having suffered a near washout losing 19 Lok Sabha seats. It was made possible through the collective effort of the LDF and not my efforts alone,” said Kappan.
It must be noted here that there were dissonant voices in the state Congress over Kappan’s plans to float a new party. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran was keen to see Kappan joining the Congress since that way the seats will remain with the Congress and will not go into the UDF ally’s account.
However, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala maintained that it will be better if Kappan enters the UDF fold as an ally which will mean more party workers following him. “Mullappally might have said so as since he likes me personally. But I had told him already that it is possible to join the UDF fold only as an ally,” added Kappan.