On Monday, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu accepted Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani’s resignation. The latter had sent his resignation letter to Naidu on January 9, 2021.
Reportedly, Jose resigned to contest in the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections from the Pala constituency. After Jose’s resignation, the vacant RS seat will go back to Kerala Congress and reportedly, the likely picks for the vacant seat include Congress leaders Stephen George, PK Sajeev, and PT Jose.
After 35 years of association, the Kerala Congress (M) had quit the United Democratic Front (UDF) recently to join the LDF for the local body polls in Kerala. The party had split into two factions in 2019, each led by Jose and PJ Joseph, following KM Mani’s death. The PJ Joseph faction chose to remain with the UDF.
During a presser held last year, Jose said that the UDF had betrayed the party over the Pala by-election and alleged that the UDF had insulted KM Mani (Jose’s father). He added that the Front had neglected and humiliated KC (M) MLA in the Kerala Assembly.
Soon after quitting the UDF, Jose’s party joined the ruling the Left Democratic Party (LDF). He made a huge impact as he helped the LDF breach into UDF bastion in central Travancore during the recent local body polls.
Meanwhile, the fight over who in the LDF will represent the Pala seat in the upcoming Assembly elections continues. The National Congress Party (NCP) is still likely to head for a split over the Pala seat. After talks between Pala MLA and NCP leader Mani C Kappan and Transport Minister AK Saseedharan on the seat, the former made it clear that he will not give the Pala seat to anyone. Saseedharan felt it was unnecessary for a stubborn stance over the Pala seat.
The meeting took place after the NCP infighting came to the notice of the LDF. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan intervened in the matter and asked both factions to hold talks and settle the matter. However, the Chief Minister’s intervention could not bring any yield.
With Jose likely to contest from Pala, Kappan hit out, saying, “The Jose faction lost the Pala seat in the last election. They have no right to claim the seat.”
The Pala seat issue grew to the point that NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar had to intervene. NCP state president TP Peethamabaran said that everyone will have to accept the national leadership’s decision.