Mani C Kappan likely to be UDF candidate in Pala, decision soon

Mani C Kappan
Kappan is likely to contest the upcoming assembly in Kerala from Pala as a Congress candidate.

Delhi: Mani C Kappan, MLA, has decided to part ways with the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala. The Pala legislator is likely to contest as a candidate of the United Democratic Front in the Kerala Assembly Election from the same constituency.

An announcement in this regard is expected shortly after his meeting with NCP national leader Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Wednesday.

Kappan, 64, is likely to contest on the Congress poll symbol 'Hand', sources claim.

Latest reports indicate the Nationalist Congress Party is set for a split in Kerala as its Kottayam and Alappuzha district committees are backing Kappan.

The planter-turned-film producer-turned politician took the drastic move in protest against the LDF's likely move to allot the Pala constituency to Kerala Congress (Mani) faction led by Jose K Mani.

Kappan had held talks with Congress leaders over the weekend.

Kappan may join UDF as Chennithala rally reaches Kottayam

Kottayam: Kappan who is likely on his way out from the ruling Left Democratic Front has made elaborate preparations so that his entry to the opposition camp of the United Democratic Front happens at a grand political event. 

As per the plan, Kappan will take out a procession of his supporters on Sunday when the UDF rally led by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala enters Kottayam. 

Kappan will travel in an open jeep led by 1,000 supporters on motorbikes and join the rally, named Aishwarya Kerala Yathra. 

On Tuesday, he arranged an open jeep for himself besides 1,000 bikes for his supporters and flags of his new outfit.

After welcoming rally leader Chennithala by draping a shawl around him, Kappan will make the big announcement regarding his new political course.

Former chief minister Oommen Chandy, Muslim League general secretary P K Kunhalikutty and Kerala Congress (Joseph) chairman P J  Joseph will be present in Kottayam to receive Kappan.

The final arrangement for the Sunday's event is being finalised at the NCP block committee meeting to be held on Wednesday.

After overseeing the preparations, Kappan left for Delhi. 

Kappan has decided to contest from Pala as part of the UDF even if Pawar decides to give up the constituency and continue with the LDF. Kappan intends to seek Pawar's approval for his decision to contest from Pala. 

Patel rebuffed

Pawar is upset after Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan denied appointment to his right-hand man Praful Patel for discussing the matter.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar

Patel has informed Pawar that the possibility of a compromise with the LDF looks remote.

Patel has already informed Kappan that the chief minister had spoken to him over phone and told that if Kappan wanted he can contest from Alathur or Kuttanad. 

The chief minister also made it clear that a Rajya Sabha seat too can't be allotted to Kappan. Patel has conveyed these to Pawar. 

Subsequently, Pawar told NCP state president Peethambaran to take a decision on NCP's future relationship with the LDF. The state president has however requested Pawar to take a call on such an important matter. 

Meanwhile, the UDF has assured that it was ready to accommodate the entire state unit of NCP if it came out of ruling LDF or even the splinter group led by Kappan.

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