Kottayam: The NCP-faction led by Mani C Kappan, who severed ties with the LDF and shifted camps to UDF a week ago, has been christened Nationalist Congress Kerala (NCK).
Kappan, who had won from the Pala Assembly constituency with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in a bypoll held two years ago, announced the name of his party on Monday adding that they have requested the UDF to make them a constituent.
He added that the party will request 3 seats, including Pala, from the UDF for the upcoming Assembly elections.
Kappan will serve as the president of the party while Babu Karthikeyan has been announced as its general secretary. Kappan said that his party will go forward as democratic party with nationalistic perspective.
Sulfikar Mayoori and P Gopinath have been appointed as vice presidents while Siby Thomas will serve as the treasurer.
A riveting electoral battle is on the cards now in Pala, as Kappan is likely to take on the Kerala Congress (Mani) candidate, most probably the latter's Chairman Jose K Mani in the state polls. The latter has been reportedly assured the seat by the CPM, the leading party of the LDF, as it made its entry to the front last year after exiting the UDF.
Kappan had won the seat in a bypoll in September 2019 after tasting defeat to K M Mani in the same seat a few times. With his victory, the LDF could recover the constituency after half a century as K M Mani, the founder of Kerala Congress (Mani), held sway and won all elections since 1967 until his death, necessitating the by-election.
Kappan revolted against the LDF leadership, following the reported move by the CPM to hand over Pala Assembly seat to the KC(M)-faction led by Jose K Mani.