The Kerala Congress’ Joseph faction has decided to field five fresh faces out of the ten candidates contesting in the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections. Meanwhile, former Kerala Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) faction founder KM Mani’s son-in-law MP Joseph has made it to the Kerala Congress Joseph faction’s list. He is one of the five fresh faces to take on the polls this year.
The five new faces are – MP Joseph will contest from Thrikaripur, Kunju Koshy Paul from Thiruvalla, Prince Lucas from Ettumanoor, Shibu Thekkumpuram from Kothamangalam and VJ Lali from Changanassery. Joseph is a former IAS officer and a member of the International Labour Organisation, and he has been Kerala’s longest-serving Labour Commissioner. As part of the ILO, Joseph participated in large-scale solutions to fight child labour.
In the upcoming elections PJ Joseph will contest from Thodupuzha while faction leaders Mons Joseph will contest from Kaduthuruthy, Thomas Unniyadan from Irinjalakuda, Francis George from Idukki and Jacob Abraham from Kuttanad. Some notable names such as Joseph M Puthussery, Sajan Francis and Saji Manjakadamban are missing from the list. These three leaders were under active consideration but the factions did not allow them any seats.
The Joseph faction had demanded 13 seats from the UDF, but they were allotted only nine. However, final deliberations led to the alliance handing over Thrikaripur to the faction, from where MP Jospeh is contesting. Interestingly, before their split, the Kerala Congress contested 15 seats, and after the Mani faction led by Jose K Mani went to LDF, it seemed to have created a different effect. The Mani faction is contesting from 13 seats and Joseph from 10, taking the total tally to 23.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the party would announce its candidate list only on Sunday. Chandy said that the people would have to wait an extra day to find out who will contest from the Nemom constituency.