PJ Joseph, son Apu John to contest in upcoming Kerala Assembly elections

Meanwhile, state NCP could be heading to a split over the Pala seat after talks between Mani C Kappan and AK Saseedharan yield no result despite CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s intervention
Apu John Joseph and PJ Joseph
Apu John Joseph and PJ Joseph

According to reports, Kerala Congress (J) founder PJ Joseph and his son Apu John Joseph will contest in the upcoming Kerala Assembly Elections.

Earlier, reports speculated that Joseph would not contest in the upcoming election and that his son would contest from Thodupuzha. However later, reports claim that while Joseph will contest from Thodupuzha, Apu will contest from Thiruvambady in Kozhikode. According to reports, the move to have Apu contest from Thiruvambady is due to the Catholic Church’s high influence in the constituency. KC (J) feel that contesting from here is likely to work in their favour instead of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). Currently, the League is holding the seat.

So what can the Kerala Congress do? There is one option. After 1980, the Kerala Congress has never won the Perambra constituency. The Kerala Congress could use this as an offer to IUML. Reportedly, the Kerala Congress feels that the IUML has a better chance of winning in Perambra than KC (J). If Kerala Congress manages to convince the IUML to swap Thiruvambady for Perambra constituency, then both parties could benefit. This could help the United Democratic Front (UDF) gain these two seats in the Malabar region in the Assembly election.

Meanwhile, talking of seats, reports have suggested that the National Congress Party (NCP) could be heading for a split over the Pala seat crisis. After talks between Pala MLA and NCP leader Mani C Kappan and Transport 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 was brought 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.

The Pala seat crisis began soon after the Jose K Mani led Kerala Congress (M) defected from UDF to the LDF. Earlier, Jose laid claim to the Pala seat after joining the LDF but later said that no discussion has taken place so far within the party or the LDF regarding the Pala seat. “When discussions will take place in the LDF, the party will inform its stand,” Jose told reporters in Kannur.

Earlier, Kappan hit out Jose, saying, “The Jose faction lost the Pala seat in the last election. They have no right to claim the seat.”

The Pala seat issue became a big issue that even NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar also intervened in the matter. NCP state president TP Peethamabaran Master said that everyone will have to accept the national leadership’s decision.

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