Idukki: A court near here on Monday stayed the election of Jose K. Mani as the new Chairman of the Kerala Congress-Mani, the third-biggest constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front in the state.
Jose Mani, the son of late party founder-Chairman K.M. Mani, was elected as the new party Chairman at a hurriedly-called state committee meeting at Kottayam on Sunday.
The Thodupuzha Munsif Court's decision came after two state committee members belonging to the party's P.J. Joseph faction approached it against the election. After hearing the arguments, the court stayed Mani's election to the post till July 17, when the case will be heard again. Until then, Jose cannot use the post of the Chairman.
Trouble has been brewing in Kerala Congress-Mani, ever since its founder chairman passed away in April this year.
Joseph, who was the party's Working Chairman, insisted that he should be made the Chairman, which was staunchly opposed by the Mani faction, which has a majority in the party state committee, the party's highest decision-making body.
The rift in the party also surfaced on the floor of the assembly on Monday when A. Pradeep Kumar of the ruling CPI-M told Joseph, who was speaking, that the house wished to know to which party he belonged.
Joseph, however, made it clear that he belongs to the Kerala Congress-Mani and the Speaker intervened to say that the issue will be sorted out by them and need not become a point of discussion.
After his speech, Joseph walked out of the house, after the Speaker disallowed an adjournment motion moved by the Congress and two party legislators Mons Joseph and C.F. Thomas, who owe their allegiance to Jose Mani, also walked out with him and his faction's legislators.