Terrible Tuesday for Kerala Congress(M), Rajya Sabha seat under cloud

The result has come as a significant blow to KC(M), for which retaining the Kottayam constituency was not only a matter of pride but also crucial for its political standing.
KC(M) chairman Jose K Mani and LDF candidate Thomas Chazhikdan watching the election results at the latter’s residence in Kottayam on Tuesday
KC(M) chairman Jose K Mani and LDF candidate Thomas Chazhikdan watching the election results at the latter’s residence in Kottayam on Tuesday Photo | Vishnu Prathap

KOTTAYAM: Sure of Thomas Chazhikadan’s victory from Kottayam, the Kerala Congress (M) placed an order for 1,000 laddu from a bakery in Pala on June 3, the eve of counting.

On Tuesday morning, senior KC(M) leaders, including chairman Jose K Mani, gathered at Chazhikadan’s residence anticipating a victory. However, as counting progressed, their hearts sank as UDF pick K Francis George of the rival Joseph faction increased his lead and ended up winning.

KC(M) chairman Jose K Mani and LDF candidate Thomas Chazhikdan watching the election results at the latter’s residence in Kottayam on Tuesday
Kerala Congress(M) confident of securing RS seat from LDF

The result has come as a significant blow to KC(M), for which retaining the constituency was not only a matter of pride but also crucial for its political standing, especially with Jose’s term in the Rajya Sabha set to expire on July 1. Now, it appears unlikely KC(M) will even secure a seat in the upper house.

Essentially, it is facing the possibility of having no representation in the Parliament. The LS poll outcome does not impact KC(M)’s status as a recognised party but will have a significant political impact. The party also failed to impact the results of Pathanamthitta and Idukki constituencies, sparking speculations that its previous victory was solely due to UDF’s support.

Terming the defeat “part of a larger political wave in Kerala”, Jose said it doesn’t necessarily reflect the party’s overall strength. “The voters primarily focused on bringing down the NDA government, prompting them to support the Congress-led front. We will analyse all other reasons for our defeat,” Jose said.

The KC(M) leadership is cognizant of the anti-incumbency sentiment against the Pinarayi government, which played a role in turning away its voter base, particularly Christians.

Capitalising on the situation, UDF is expected to initiate efforts to woo KC(M) back into its fold.

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