Pala bypoll: Feud within Kerala Congress (M) leads to official candidate losing party symbol

Pala bypoll: Feud within Kerala Congress (M) leads to official candidate losing party symbol
Jose and Joseph Tom Pulikkunnel

The raging infighting between the Jose and Joseph factions within the Kerala Congress (M), a beneficial ally of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala, resulted within the party’s official candidate for the upcoming bypoll in Pala losing the party symbol. While Jose is the son of late KC(M) chairman KM Mani, who remained Pala’s solely legislator from 1965-2019, Joseph is the party’s working chairman. Both leaders have been engaged in a vicious tussle for the reins of the party after the dying of Mani this 12 months.

Earlier this week, Jose Tom Pulikkunnel, a senior KC(M) chief, was chosen because the official UDF candidate for the bypoll, although Joseph was not pleased with the selection because the chief was shut to Jose. He, nevertheless, refused to permit Pulikkunnel to struggle on the official party symbol of ‘two-leaves’ because the management disaster within the party hung within the courts.

In a weird flip of occasions in Pala on Wednesday, a candidate propped up by Joseph submitted his nomination types for the bypoll so as to checkmate Jose’s makes an attempt to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for his candidate. Pulikkunnel had submitted two units of nomination papers, one as an Independent candidate backed by the UDF and the opposite as a KC(M) candidate. Joseph made it clear that as quickly as Pulikkunel’s nomination as an Independent candidate is accepted, he would withdraw the dummy candidate.

On Thursday, the Returning Officer in Pala dismissed the nomination types submitted by Pulikkunnel as a candidate of the Kerala Congress (M), accepting as an alternative his submission as an Independent candidate with out the ‘two leaves’ symbol. This has come as an enormous victory for Joseph who has been defiant on his opposition to Jose because the party’s subsequent chief.

The feud within the KC(M), which wields affect amongst Christian voters in central Kerala, has been a splitting headache for the UDF which desperately needs to win the Pala bypoll and show that its sweep within the Lok Sabha elections was no flash within the pan. The Congress, which has been reluctant to intrude within the inside workings of the KC(M), needs each Jose and Joseph to bury the hatchet and work for the victory of the alliance.

On Thursday, Joseph, at an election convention in Pala, sought to downplay the feud saying that there have all the time been variations within the party and that they might be resolved quickly. He additionally pitched his assist for the UDF candidate Pulikkunnel at the same time as he was repeatedly booed and heckled by supporters of Jose.

Pulikkunnel will go head to head with Mani C Kappan, a nominee of the LDF, and BJP candidate N Hari on September 23. Votes will likely be counted on September 27.

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