Kerala

P.J. Joseph to keep off UDF campaign

P.J. Joseph

P.J. Joseph   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

The faction will work on its own to ensure victory of UDF candidate

Troubles in the embattled Kerala Congress (M) ahead of the Pala Assembly byelection has turned worse with the faction led by party working chairman P.J. Joseph deciding not to be a part of the United Democratic Front (UDF) campaign along with rival faction.

Instead, the faction will work on its own to ensure the victory of UDF candidate Jose Tom Pulikkunnel, a confidant of Jose K. Mani, MP.

The shock move, according to the Joseph faction leaders, comes in the wake of ‘organised attempts’ to heckle Mr. Joseph by the rival faction as was evident at an election convention in Pala the other day.

A controversial editorial appeared on Prathichaya, the party mouthpiece, which obliquely sought to cast aspersions on Mr. Joseph for his ‘image tussle’ with Mr. Mani too has a bearing on the decision.

“There is no point in us continuing by bearing all the insults and hence the KC(M) district committee has requested Mr. Joseph not to come to Pala for campaigning. However, we will continue to work for the UDF candidate in this byelection by holding parallel conventions,” said Saji Manjakadambil, a Joseph group leader. He also demanded an intervention from the top UDF leadership in resolving the issue.

Speaking to mediapersons in Thodupuzha, Mr. Joseph maintained that the prevailing situation was not favourable for him to attend the campaign by the UDF. On the occasion, he also reiterated allegations of the Mani faction attempting to take away the party symbol through the back door

The Mani faction, however, appeared unperturbed by the announcement and said it had no worries whatsoever as far Mr. Pulikunnel was concerned. “The UDF will definitely try to ensure the support of all ahead of the byelection. As to whether the decision announced by the Joseph group forms part of his political stand, is yet to be known,” said Roshy Augustine, MLA, a confidant of Mr. Mani.

Meanwhile, the Congress, as leading partner of the coalition, has conveyed its displeasure over the warring factions of KC(M) at a time when the coalition should stand united. According to sources, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran contacted leaders of both the factions over phone and expressed the party’s displeasure over the factional war.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 2:28:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/joseph-to-keep-off-udf-campaign/article29362593.ece

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