Both Joseph group, Cong want seats contested by Kerala Congress (M)

Both Joseph group, Cong want seats contested by Kerala Congress (M)
P J Joseph

Kottayam: With the departure of the Kerala Congress (M) from the Front, the question in the UDF is who will get the seats the party had contested and represented in the past?

Leaders of both the Congress and Kerala Congress (Joseph) have started making their moves to stake claim to the seats in the local body and Assembly elections.

The Joseph faction has told the UDF leadership that it should get all the seats that it had contested with the Mani group. In 2011 and 2016, the Kerala Congress had contested 15 Assembly seats.

The faction will soon hand over the list of seats it desires for the local body elections to the UDF.

What Joseph wants

In the 2011 and 2016 Assembly elections, the K M Mani group had contested 11 seats and the Joseph‌ faction had fought from four seats. C F Thomas, Thomas Unniyadan and Joseph M Puthussery, who were on Mani’s side then, later joined the Joseph faction.

Apart from this, K Francis George, who was a leader of the Kerala Congress (Democratic), and Johnny Nelloor, who was the leader of the Jacob faction of the Kerala Congress, are now with Joseph.

Joseph M Puthussery contested and won from Kallooppara, which was a part of the present-day Thiruvalla. Similarly, Johnny Nelloor won from Muvattupuzha and Thomas Unniyadan from Irinjalakuda. Francis George has contested from Idukki before.

The Joseph faction claims that it has a right to all these seats.

“We are entitled to the seats contested by the Kerala Congress last time. The UDF leadership has been informed about this. The seat allocation has not been discussed,” said P J Joseph, the working chairman of Kerala Congress‌ (Joseph)‌.

How Congress sees it

The Congress is also eyeing some of the seats contested by the Jose K Mani faction. It is looking at Changanassery, Kanjirapally, Ettumanoor and Poonjar seats.

The Congress is ready to give Pala to Joseph. There are some who want Congress to take Poonjar and give Changanassery to Joseph.

What about Jose faction members not keen on joining LDF?

Some members of the Jose faction in the local bodies do not want to go to the LDF. The Joseph group believes they will join it. Joseph is arguing that more seats will be needed to accommodate them. The Congress, however, has countered this saying those leaving the Jose group would come to its fold.

“The discussions on seat allocations and preparations for the local body elections will begin soon. The situation that has emerged after the Jose section left the front will also be discussed,” KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said.

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