Feuding Kerala Congress needs Rahul for a UDF patch-up

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First Published 14, Mar 2019, 2:20 PM IST
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Feuding Kerala Congress needs Rahul Gandhi UDF patchup
Highlights

The Congress high command is evaluating the dispute in the Kerala Congress (M), which may affect UDF's prospects in the Lok Sabha election. Rahul Gandhi will take a final decision on the ticket to the coveted Kottayam seat.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress high command has expressed unhappiness regarding the growing dispute brewing in the Kerala Congress (M), which is affecting the UDF's prospects in the Lok Sabha election. The high command is evaluating the situation.  The UDF consists of Indian National Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress (M), Socialist Janata (Democratic) and Revolutionary Socialist Party.  

The Congress president Rahul Gandhi has sought an explanation on the issue.

PJ Joseph of the Kerala Congress (M), who is more experienced than the chosen candidate, has stated that he wishes to contest from Kottayam. But the party's leader, KM Mani offered the seat to Thomas Chazhikadan.  A disappointed Joseph reportedly turned to Rahul Gandhi for help. A final decision regarding this matter will be taken by the Congress president, who is in Kerala. He has organised a meeting with other leaders in the party. 

Joseph has hinted that the ignominy heaped on him by party chairman KM Mani and his son Jose K Mani could lead to Chazhikadan's defeat. At the same time, Kerala Congress (M)'s working chairman PJ Joseph has sought an 'advance bail' saying that if party candidate Thomas Chazhikadan loses in Kottayam, Joseph should not be blamed.  

Joseph had first met Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Oommen Chandy at his residence and told him that Mani and Jose K Mani were mistreating him. Later, Joseph met opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and state Congress president Mullapally Ramachandran regarding this issue. 

The Congress is trying hard to step in and broker peace. If Chazhikadan is persuaded to back off from Kottayam, other candidates in the neighbouring constituencies such as Idukki and Pathanamthitta are worried their seats may be given in an effort to pacify him.

Jose K Mani has stated that the UDF allies need not interfere in the affairs of the party. And this has courted controversy too. 

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