Kerala

KC(M) leaders toughen stance

Kerala Congress (M) leader P.J. Joseph handing over a copy of his faction's official mouthpiece `Shabdamillathavarude Shabdam' to Mahatma Gandhi University Vice Chancellor Sabu Thomas in Kottayam on Thursday

Kerala Congress (M) leader P.J. Joseph handing over a copy of his faction's official mouthpiece `Shabdamillathavarude Shabdam' to Mahatma Gandhi University Vice Chancellor Sabu Thomas in Kottayam on Thursday  

No compromise on Kuttanad seat, says Joseph

Even as the United Democratic Front (UDF) is striving hard to bring in consensus between the warring factions of the Kerala Congress (M) over Kuttanad, the tussle hit another low with the group leaders toughening their respective stances on Thursday.

Addressing media persons in Kottayam, KC(M) working chairman P.J. Joseph dismissed the claims raised by Jose K. Mani as meaningless. “The KC(M) leadership will hold a bilateral discussion with the Congress over Kuttand on February 29 and Mr. Mani, who left the party, does not have any role in it,’’ he said.

According to him, the rebel candidate fielded by Mr. Mani during the previous Assembly election received just 235 votes. “This number is indeed a reflection of his degree of presence in the constituency,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, he sought to dismiss reports regarding a likely exchange of Kuttanad with the Congress for the Muvattupuzha Assembly seat. “Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has made it amply clear that the seat belonged to the KC (M). Moreover, we are fully confident about winning the seat,” Mr. Joseph said.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Joseph released the official mouthpiece of his faction `Sabdamillathavarude Shabdam' by handing over a copy of the magazine to Mahatma Gandhi University Vice Chancellor Sabu Thomas.

Responding to Mr. Joseph's statement, Mr. Mani insisted that not an inch would be conceded to anyone on the Kuttanad seat and that Mr. Joseph’s drama over Kuttanad was not going to yield any result. “We have been invited for holding bilateral talks with the Congress in Kochi. I have no idea as to whether the Congress will be holding any talks with Mr. Joseph and team,” he said.

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, Mr. Chennithala, and AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy will hold separate meetings with Mr. Joseph and Mr. Mani as part of working out a deal over Kuttanad.

Though the meeting is unlikely to yield a final decision, Congress leadership will try to convince the KC(M) groups on the importance of shunning their rivalry before proceeding to the byelection. In case of the leaders sticking to their respective stance, the Congress may consider a proposal to take over the seat.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:05:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kcm-leaders-toughen-stance/article30934220.ece

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