Mons Joseph’s letter to Speaker the trigger
The factional feud in the Kerala Congress (M) reached a flashpoint on Monday with leaders owing allegiance to party vice chairman Jose K. Mani coming out openly against the alleged unilateral moves to appoint acting chairman P.J.Joseph as its parliamentary party leader.
The reactions were triggered by a letter submitted by Kaduthurthy MLA Mons Joseph to the Speaker, requesting to appoint the acting chairman as the new parliamentary party leader.
The most unprecedented among these was a statement by Mr. Mani, who said the issue pertained to the selection of the next parliamentary party leader and not about allocation of seats in the Assembly.
“We have never raised any issue with regard to seat allocation. But the appointment of the parliamentary party leader should be held only after selecting a new chairman,” he told the media.
In a statement, KC(M) Kottayam district president Sunny Thekkedam also demanded disciplinary action against the Kaduthuruthy MLA for violating the party constitution.
“As the parliamentary party meeting has never been convened, no discussions about the election of its next leader or about the allocation of seats in the Assembly have been held either. Against this backdrop, his action of sending the letter, that too without consulting party MLAs even over the phone, amounts to a serious breach of the party discipline,” he said.
The other day, Roshy Augustine, MLA, regarded as a confidant of Mr. Mani, had also sent a letter to the Speaker to counter the move of the Joseph faction.
State panel meet
Buoyed by the victory of Thomas Chazhikadan, a nominee of Mr. Mani, in the Kottayam Lok Sabha seat, the Mani faction has gone on an offensive against Mr. Joseph pushing for an urgent convening of the State committee to select the new chairman. There is an added sense of urgency on Mr. Mani’s part, considering that the byelection in the Pala Assembly constituency is fast approaching.
According to observers, the prospect of a split stares at the party if it fails to select its next chairman before nominating the new parliamentary party leader.
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