The factional war in the Kerala Congress (M) has finally spilled onto the streets with party workers owing allegiance to Jose K. Mani staging a public protest against the party’s organisational general secretary Joy Abraham at Pala on Wednesday.
The protest followed reports of Mr. Abraham submitting a letter to the Election Commission (EC) confirming the appointment of P.J. Joseph as KC(M) chairman. The move, widely regarded as a significant step by the Joseph faction to tighten its reigns over the party, has left the Mani faction seething.
Despite the protest, the Joseph faction chose to maintain a strategic silence over the issue — neither confirming nor turning down the reports. “As the person holding the party’s organisational charges, I have every right to submit such a letter to the EC. However, I am not in a position to confirm whether such a letter has been dispatched or not,” Mr. Abraham said.
On the occasion, he termed the ongoing protest against him as totally unwarranted. “My internal circular informing the appointment of Mr. Joseph as acting chairman does not seem to have gone down well with a section. What they have failed to understand is that I, as the person holding the party’s organisational charges, was just following Rule 29 of the party constitution,” he explained.
The reports on the letter drew a sharp reaction from Mani faction leaders led by Roshy Augustine and N Jayaraj, MLA.
Addressing a press meet, Mr. Augustine sought clarification from Mr. Joseph on the issue and if confirmed, the action amounted to attempting to split the party apart. In a press release issued later, he said the party constitution had categorically described the process of selecting the party chairman through democratic process by convening the State committee of the party.
Meanwhile, it is also learned that Aadikkad Manoj, who had taken the chairman election to the court earlier, has now written to the EC seeking the details of the letter reportedly served by the KC(M) organisational general secretary.
“With the crucial support of Mr. Abraham, Mr. Joseph is now in complete control of things and also enjoys the support of three legislators. This will come handy to him if the battle of succession comes in front of the EC,” an observer said.