George Jacob

Framework for discussions yet to be finalised

Confusion over posts of district presidents

Merger of feeder organisations may create problems

KOTTAYAM: The much awaited talks between Kerala Congress factions led by P.J. Joseph and K.M. Mani, who are on a path to merger, has run into rough weather.

The talks, which were expected to finalise the road map to merger, deciding on sharing of party posts, were to begin on Saturday.

However, Kerala Congress (Mani) leaders informed the media at the last minute that it had been postponed indefinitely.

While the formal reason given was the scheduled public meeting of the KC (M) at Thodupuzha, it is learnt that the two factions have not been able to complete the homework for the talks to begin. The merger move, one of the most haphazardly chalked-out political moves in recent times had sorted out only one of the issues before the announcement — who would hold the No.1 and No.2 positions on the unified entity.

While Mr. Mani will be the chairman, Mr. Joseph will become the working chairman of the unified entity. K.C. Joseph is expected to get the post of vice-chairman, according to sources.

The Kerala Congress (Joseph) has sought the post of president in six districts, but the Mani faction has not given the green signal so far. The KC (J) may have to be content with four districts including their strongholds - Idukki and Ernakulam - in addition to Palakkad and Kasaragod.

Out of the 14 posts, the KC (M) had already shared two president posts with P.C. George when he joined the party. With four districts going to the Joseph faction, the Mani faction will have to be satisfied with eight.

“They might get one more, but not the six they demand,” said a KC(M) leader.