Kottayam: As the tussle for chairmanship intensifies in Kerala Congress, the Mani faction is reported to have held a secret meeting and decided not to yield before PJ Joseph in the matter.
Mani faction is of the view that as per the accord reached at the time of merger of the two parties into a united Kerala Congress, the chairmanship of the party and the parliamentary leader position should be given to the Mani faction. The group decided not to budge on this issue, with the conviction that if any concession is made now, the hold of the faction over the party will be lost for ever.
As a corollary, Mani group will not accept any formula in which Jose K Mani will be made working chairman. The group's demand is that the state committee should be convened and the chairman elected by majority. PJ Joseph is reluctant to convene such a meeting fully realizing that he will not get a majority.
Although some in the Mani faction shared the concern that a few state committee members may lean towards Joseph's faction, senior leaders dismiss that fear. The meeting in general assessed that all members will stick to the position. They feel that if the state committee or steering committee is convened, Jose K Mani can be made chairman through majority.
Although Mani faction has decided to submit a written request to Joseph to convene a state committee meeting, it has not been decided when it will be handed over.
All the same, Joseph is said to be in a vigorous effort to secure chairmanship through consensus for which he is in frequent contact with senior leaders. He is also in touch with certain bishops in this connection. Joseph's attempt is to reach an understanding at a parliamentary committee meeting, which is opposed by the Mani faction, and if such a meeting is convened, Mani group will abstain from it.
Given the rigid stances of both sides, the move initiated earlier by some including CF Thomas for a rapproachment has also lagging now.