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Kerala Congress (Mani) splits, 2 months after founder's death


Kottayam (Kerala): Trouble has broken out in Kerala Congress (Mani), the third biggest ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala.

On Sunday, the party split after Jose K.Mani, son of late K.M.Mani, was elected as its new chairman leaving out its working chairman P.J.Joseph.

Jose, a Rajya Sabha MP, later told party men that even though K.M.Mani was not physically present, he was always with them. "We will go forward the way Mani Sir wished," he said.

This is the 11th division in the party since its inception, but the first after K.M.Mani's death and true to his stock statement: "We are a party that splits as we grow and grows as we split."

K.M.Mani remained the Kerala Congress (Mani) Chairman from the time he founded the party in 1976 till his death in April this year. After his death, a power tussle broke out between P.J.Joseph and Jose K.Mani.

In 2010, Joseph had pulled out of the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala, and merged his Kerala Congress (Joseph) with Kerala Congress (Mani).

Now it remains to be seen on who will get the official flag and the party symbol of the Kerala Congress (Mani).

With Joseph still the parliamentary party leader of the Kerala Congress (Mani), a new arrangement will have to be worked out soon to represent the party in the Assembly, which is in session at present.

Reacting to the turn of events, Congress spokesperson Joseph Vazhakan said his party wanted Kerala Congress (Mani) to stay united and senior Congress leaders were talking to the rival factions to sort out things.

Sources in the know of things said that top Congress leaders may meet the rival faction leaders in the state capital on Monday.


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