Kerala

Warring KC(M) groups face off once again

The rival factions of the Kerala Congress which have been locked in a fierce turf war in Central Travancore post the death of K.M. Mani are facing off each other once again after a brief gap.

Setting the stage for this new round of battle is the election to the governing council of the Meenachil Cooperative Agricultural and Rural Development Bank in Pala, which is slated to take place on Sunday. The election to the body, where the United Democratic Front (UDF) had held sway for 28 years till November last year, has been necessitated by a recent shift of the Kerala Congress (M) to the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

Of the 13 members in the previous governing council, which took charge in February 2019, seven who owed allegiance to the KC(M) resigned from their posts in November last year. The shock move, initiated as a mark of protest to a decision by the bank president and veteran Kerala Congress leader E.J. Augusthy to join the P.J. Joseph faction, put the bank under an administrative committee's rule.

While the UDF and the LDF have fielded candidates in all the 13 seats, the fight is primarily between the factions led by P.J. Joseph and Jose K. Mani.

In the UDF, the Kerala Congress (M) is contesting seven seats, while the Congress has fielded candidates in five seats with the lone remaining seat allotted to the Communist Marxist Party (CMP). The LDF, meanwhile, has allotted 10 seats to the KC(M) with the CPI(M) and the CPI contesting in two seats and one seat respectively.

The UDF leaders accuse the LDF, which is contesting under the banner of Sahakarana Janadhipathya Munnani (SJM), of fomenting trouble within the previous council that had its term till February 2024. “This election will impose an additional burden of ₹3 lakh on the financial institution, which already runs on loss,” said Saji Manjakadambil, chairman of the UDF committee in Kottayam.

The SJM, on the other hand, said the election would pave the way for the bank's revival from its sorry state of affairs. “Our attempt is to revive the bank to its old days of glory by moving beyond political affiliations and ensuring financial discipline,” said K.J. Philip Kuzhikulam, election committee chairman of the SJM.

The bank, established in 1965, has a total of 10,366 shareholders and of them, 2,926 are eligible to cast their votes.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 12:57:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/warring-kcm-groups-face-off-once-again/article34344777.ece

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