No consesus; Mani to declare KC (M) candidate

Kottayam: Kerala Congress (M) chairman KM Mani will announce the name of party candidate. The steering committee meeting held here on Sunday entrusted Mani  wih the announcement.

The clash between Mani-Joseph groups continued at Sunday's meeting too. Meanwhile, it is learnt that party working chairman PJ Joseph will be the candidate. It is known that an understanding has been reached in this regard at a meeting held at Mani's residence in Pala.

Mani relaxed on the claim for the seat after Joseph agreed that he will not claim ministerial position if a situation arise where Kerala Congress (M) gets a representation in the central government.  Mani had no other option but to concede as the working chairman of the party itself expressed his interest to contest.  Joseph also had ensured the support of church leaders in Kottayam. However, many of the leaders in the party still hesitate to approve the candidacy of Joseph.

At the parliamentary party meeting held on Sunday, Joseph expressed his interest to contest. At the meeting, which approved the Congress's decision to give only one seat, CF Thomas's support to Joseph turned out to be a setback to Mani.  At the steering committee meeting that followed, Joseph reiterated his demand. 

Joy Sebastian, the member from Kannur, asked if it was right for MLAs to contest the election by stepping down from the responsibilities entrusted by the people. Wayanad district president KJ Devassia also obliquely criticised Joseph's demand.  It is known that other members also criticised Joseph's stance. Thus, general secretary Joy Abraham, who is in charge of party office, suggested that the decision should be left to Mani. The suggestion was greeted with applause. 

98 of the 102 members of the party had took part in the meeting. Most of the members were supporters of Mani. It is said that Joseph's candidacy was offered for this reason.

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