New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday extended its order to temporarily freeze the 'two leaves' symbol of the Kerala Congress (Mani) to February 5 in the dispute between the two factions claiming ownership of the party, the EC sources said.
In its earlier hearing on January 16, the EC has freezed the symbol till Monday.
Both the factions -- led by Jose K Mani and P J Joseph -- have sought the adjournment, the sources added.
The order has been issued under clause 15 of the The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
The full Commission - Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra - started hearing the dispute after both the factions submitted claim with proofs that they represented the official group of the KC (M).
While Jose Mani, who is a Kerala Rajya Sabha member and son of KC (M) founder K M Mani, anointed himself as the party chairman after death of his father in April 2019, P J Joseph, who was party working chairman then and presently MLA from Thodupuzha, opposed Jose Mani's move.
As they could not resolve the issue themselves, they moved to the EC seeking its intervention to declare their group as the official one. Both K M Mani and P J Joseph were former ministers in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Kerala government.
KC (M) is the third largest partner of the UDF.
Both the factions now wanted an early solution to the dispute as the Assembly by-election to Kuttanad in Alappuzha district is due. So also is the polls to the local bodies.
The vacancy in Kuttanad is caused due to the death of MLA and NCP state president Thomas Chandy (72) on December 20, 2019. As per the rule the seat has to be filled up within six months. NCP is part of the ruling LDF in Kerala.