Kerala Congress(M) confident of securing RS seat from LDF

Party leaders believe if INDIA bloc forms govt at Centre, Jose could secure ministerial position which requires him to retain the RS seat
Binoy Vishwam and Jose K Mani
Binoy Vishwam and Jose K ManiPhoto | Special Arrangement

KOCHI/KOTTAYAM: Amid reports that the CPM is considering a cabinet-rank position for Jose K Mani, chairman of the Kerala Congress (M), to pacify the LDF ally which has staked claim for a Rajya Sabha seat, KC(M) leaders are confident that the CPM will not dismiss their demand.

Leaders close to Jose believe the party should firmly insist on securing a second term in the Rajya Sabha for their chairman, anticipating a shift in the national political landscape. However, a definitive decision on seat allocation within the LDF will only be made after the Lok Sabha election results are announced on June 4.

Of the three seats that fall vacant, the Left will be able to win two. The three seats will fall vacant after the tenure of Elamaram Kareem (CPM), Binoy Viswam (CPI) and Jose K Mani (KCM) ends on July 1. The Election Commission of India has set June 25 as the election date.

Binoy Vishwam and Jose K Mani
CPM meet to take up RS seat issue on May 31

According to KC(M) leaders, the CPM has not officially communicated any decision regarding the party’s demand for an RS berth. “LDF will decide the seat allocation. There is no final decision yet on whether we will get the seat or not. If a favourable political scenario emerges after the polls, our demand might be granted,” said a top leader of KC(M).

A Rajya Sabha seat is important for Jose irrespective of the outcome of the results in Kottayam Lok Sabha constituency. Lopez Mathew, KC(M) district president and MP Thomas Chazhikadan’s election committee convenor, expressed confidence that the party will win the Kottayam LS seat with sizeable lead in four out of seven assembly segments.

“We anticipate winning margins in Vaikom, Ettumanoor, Kaduthuruthy, and Pala assembly segments. The competition in Piravom was close, with either KC(M) or UDF expected to get a narrow margin. We do not anticipate a lead in Kottayam and Puthuppally,” Lopez said.

On the other hand, the UDF claims it will lead in six assembly segments, with a close race in Vaikom. “We are confident of securing a significant margin in Puthuppally, Kottayam, and Piravom, while expecting satisfactory leads in Ettumanoor, Kaduthuruthy, and Pala. UDF candidate Francis George will win by a huge margin in Kottayam, as it is a UDF stronghold,” said Nattakom Suresh, DCC president, Kottayam.

KC(M) leaders believe that if the INDIA bloc forms government at the Centre, Jose could secure a ministerial position, which necessitates him retaining the Rajya Sabha seat.

Meanwhile, the CPM is reportedly considering offering the chairmanship of the Kerala Administrative Reforms Commission, a cabinet-rank post previously held by V S Achuthanandan, to KC(M).

Another position being mooted for Jose K Mani is the vice chairman of the Kerala State Planning Board. However, for the past eight years, this post has been held by CPM-leaning personalities close to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

More positions mooted for Jose

Another position being mooted for Jose K Mani is the vice chairman of the Kerala State Planning Board. However, for the past eight years, this post has been held by CPM-leaning personalities close to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Party leaders feel that the vice-chairman post of the Planning Board is a better offer than the chairmanship of the Administrative Reforms Commission, given Jose K Mani’s background as a former banking professional.

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