Kerala

KC(M) factions’ tussle for Kuttanad rages on

P.J. Joseph proposes to field Jacob Abraham as UDF candidate

The tussle between two factions in the Kerala Congress (M) for the Kuttanad Assembly seat reached a flash point on Saturday with the Jose K. Mani faction lodging a complaint to the United Democratic Front (UDF) convener against the party working chairman P.J. Joseph for proposing to field his aide Jacob Abraham as the front's candidate.

‘‘Mr. Joseph made the proposal without holding any consultations and it clearly violates the coalition protocol. The seat belongs to the Jose faction and there is no question of giving it up,’’ said Stephen George, office secretary of the KC(M) Jose faction who filed the complaint.

The Jose faction has constituted a subcommittee to identify a suitable candidate. Though a couple of names are under its active consideration, Shaiju Kandakkudy is regarded as the front runner.

Turning down the Jose faction's claim to the seat, Mr. Joseph had stated the other day that Mr. Abraham, who lost the previous election to the late Thomas Chandy of the Left Democratic Front, is at the forefront of the Opposition UDF's probable candidates.

"Jacob Abraham lost the fight by a slender margin of 4,891 votes. This time, the UDF will certainly win the election," said Mr. Joseph, while accusing Mr. Mani of attempting to ruin its prospects as he had done in Pala, where the party lost the recent byelection after party patriarch K.M. Mani held it for 54 years.

The UDF is yet to respond to the claims of the factions. Political observers say it is likely that the Congress would take over the seat if the fight continues. The KC(M) factions, however, rule out the possibility of any such situations.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:23:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kcm-factions-tussle-for-kuttanad-rages-on/article30652851.ece

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