Kerala Congress (M) firm on demand for Rajya Sabha seat

Thomas Chazhikadan’s defeat in Kottayam has made the RS seat crucial for the KC(M) to maintain its political standing.
Chairman of Kerala Congress Jose K Mani.
Chairman of Kerala Congress Jose K Mani.File photo | Express

KOTTAYAM : With the party losing the lone seat it contested in the Lok Sabha election, the Kerala Congress (M) has decided to stand firm on its demand for the Rajya Sabha seat for party chairman Jose K Mani.

With bilateral discussions slated to begin after the CPM secretariat meeting on Saturday, the KC (M) leadership has resolved not to entertain any alternative offers from the CPM in exchange for the RS seat.

Thomas Chazhikadan’s defeat in Kottayam has made the RS seat crucial for the KC (M) to maintain its political standing. Of the three RS seats of the LDF, including the one held by KC (M) which will expire on July 1, the LDF is capable of winning only two seats in the current situation.

As CPM and CPI want to retain their seats, efforts are on to mollify KC M) by offering alternative positions such as chairman post of the administrative reforms commission with cabinet rank to Jose.

‘KC (M) rightfully deserves RS seat’

The KC (M) leadership, which dismissed any discussions within the LDF, has made it clear that they will not accept any alternative offers and will not waver from their demand to retain the seat. “We have already stated our position. The KC (M) rightfully deserves the RS seat. We will not back down from our demand,” said Stephen George, KC (M) office-charge general secretary.

Privately, KC(M) leaders have expressed frustration with the CPM’s reluctance to relinquish their seat, especially when the CPI is also standing firm on its demand. “The CPM already has three members. Why can’t it give up the upcoming seat?” questioned a KC (M) leader.

Meanwhile, the defeat in Kottayam has sparked internal discussions within the KC (M) regarding their continued participation in the LDF. A section of leaders believes that their primary voter base, the Christian community, has become increasingly distant from the CPM-led political front, leading to the party’s defeat in Kottayam. Hence, they argue that continuing in the LDF will not auger well for the party.

Talks are also going on within the KC (M) about potentially switching to the UDF. However, KC (M) leaders are still uncertain about the capability of the UDF leadership in posing a challenge to the LDF in the upcoming assembly election in 2026. Despite the UDF’s success in the Lok Sabha elections, the front is yet to demonstrate its ability to seize power from the LDF.

This has prevented the KC (M) leadership to initiate any talks with the UDF right now. They have also decided to closely watch the changes at the helm of the Congress and the UDF in the wake of the the LS poll outcome.

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