Make-or-break battle for Kerala Congress factions- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

KOTTAYAM: As the state heads to polls for the meeting elections on Tuesday, breakaway factions of the Kerala Congress, particularly these led by Jose Ok Mani and P J Joseph, are dealing with an existential disaster. Apart from the predominant factions, those led by Anoop Jacob, Ok B Ganesh Kumar and the Janadhipathya Kerala Congress — led collectively by Antony Raju and Dr Ok C Joseph — are additionally dealing with a do-or-die battle.

Interestingly, barring the presence of veteran politician P J Joseph, this election marks a era shift in Kerala Congress politics. For that is the primary election after the demise of Kerala Congress stalwarts like Ok M Mani and C F Thomas. Another Kerala Congress heavyweight, R Balakrishna Pillai, couldn’t take part in electioneering because of poor well being.

While Jose is trying to hold ahead his father’s legacy main the Kerala Congress (M), Anoop Jacob had taken the reins of the Kerala Congress (Jacob) in 2011 following the demise of his father T M Jacob. Ganesh Kumar shoulders the duty of main the Kerala Congress (B), based by his father Balakrishna Pillai. Francis George — son of Ok M George, a founding chief of the Kerala Congress in 1964 — is now with the Kerala Congress faction led by Joseph.

This ballot, Jose’ Kerala Congress (M) and Joseph’s Kerala Congress are contesting 12 and 10 seats respectively. The Kerala Congress events are locking horns in 5 constituencies, with the Jose-Joseph struggle on present in 4 —  Changanassery, Kaduthuruthi, Idukki and Thodupuzha. In Piravom, Jose faction takes on KC (Jacob).

Though KC(M) has gained an higher hand in Kerala Congress politics by means of a big place within the LDF, the occasion chief, Jose, is dealing with a troublesome struggle in his residence turf of Pala. Jose takes on Mani C Kappen of the Nationalist Congress Kerala (NCK), a brand new constituent of the UDF. 

Going by the bottom state of affairs, Kappen appeared to have gained an edge within the closing stage of campaigning. Realising the development, the CPM state management despatched particular squads to Pala to make sure that its complete cadre votes are polled on Tuesday. The battle between Jose and Joseph faction is tight in Changanassery, Kaduthuruthi and Idukki as properly. 

Of all of the Kerala Congress candidates within the fray, solely P J Joseph, who’s contesting from Thodupuzha, is on a powerful footing. While the Jose faction’s Sindhumol Jacob is placing up a powerful struggle towards KC (Jacob)’s Anoop Jacob in Piravom, Pathanapuram is witnessing a fierce battle between KC (B)’s Ganesh Kumar and Jyothikumar Chamakkala of the Congress. In the UDF bastion of Idukki, Roshy Augustine of KC (M) — representing the constituency since 2001 — faces one of many hardest contests of his profession after switching to the LDF. Francis George of the UDF is his rival there. 

The Janadhipathya Kerala Congress, which had contested three seats within the earlier meeting elections, was allotted solely the Thiruvananthapuram seat this time. Its candidate Antony Raju is dealing with a troublesome battle there towards UDF’s V S Sivakumar and BJP’s Krishnakumar. 

“Continuous splits and a vacuum in leadership has badly affected the Kerala Congress parties. Their existence depends predominantly on UDF politics. But central Travancore Christians —  the vote base of KC (M), who don’t wish to work with the Congress — received a new platform when Jose K Mani joined the LDF. At the same time, if LDF loses the elections, it will cost Jose dear,” mentioned political analyst and senior journalist Jacob George.

Current Factions

  • Kerala Congress (M) led by Jose Ok Mani
  • Kerala Congress (P J Joseph) merged into Kerala Congress (P C Thomas) just lately
  • Kerala Congress (Jacob) led by Anoop Jacob
  • Kerala Congress (B) based by R Balakrishna Pillai
  • Janadhipathya Kerala Congress led by Ok C Joseph
  • Kerala Cong (Skaria Thomas)
  • Kerala Cong (Nationalist) led by Kuruvilla Mathews
  • Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) led by P C George
  • Kerala Vikas Congress led by Prakash Kuriakose

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