Joseph M. Puthussery has returned to the Kerala Congress(M) after keeping way from the party on being denied the ticket to contest in Thiruvalla in the 2011 Assembly elections.

Post-delimitation, Mr. Puthussery’s Kallooppara constituency ceased to exist, and the party then denied him a chance to return to the Assembly from Thiruvalla.

Making a formal announcement after the steering committee meeting of the party on Sunday, Finance Minister K.M. Mani, who is the party chairman, said Mr. Puthussery had been aggrieved by the denial of ticket and his refusal to participate in the election campaign had annoyed the party. It was now a closed chapter.

Mr. Mani said that while Mr. Puthussery was making an unconditional comeback, the party would accommodate him in a befitting manner.

While his return will not have any immediate impact, Mr. Mani may be mending ties with the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, whose anger over the denial of ticket to one of its flock cost the party and the United Democratic Front dear in the central Travancore region in the elections.

Poll preparation

In that sense, Mr. Mani’s action can be termed his first major step in preparation for the next Lok Sabha elections, due in 2014.

The steering committee meeting has drawn up an agenda for discussions at the party’s State committee meeting on Monday and a meeting of party functionaries and members of the local bodies up to the grama panchayat level on Tuesday to mark the 49th anniversary of the party. On the agenda are the increase in prices of essential commodities, fertilizers and cooking gas; impact of the recommendations of Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel; a crisis in the cardamom sector; the collapse of the coconut market; and issues such as education loan and title deeds.

The party will launch an ideological discussion on the theory of toiling classes. People from all sections will be invited to participate.

Subsidy

Later, replying to questions, Mr. Mani said his party wanted the Union government to reconsider its decision to restrict the number the subsidised LPG cylinders and to increase the price of the gas.

Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph, who is the working chairman of the party; Jose K. Mani and Joy Abraham, MPs; and Francis George, general secretary, were present at the press conference.


  • They had parted ways during the 2011 elections

  • He was denied the ticket in Thiruvalla