Warring factions stick to their position over chairmanship
Even as the uncertainty over the next party chairman hangs heavy on the Kerala Congress (M) [KC(M)], the attempts to end intra-party differences seem to have hit a roadblock with both the factions sticking to their positions.
Party sources said the mediation attempts involving the hierarchy of the Catholic Church broke down with the Mani faction insisting on party vice chairman Jose K. Mani becoming the next chairman. The opposing faction, on the other hand, too remains unyielding and has come up with an alternative succession plan with acting chairman P.J. Joseph at the helm.
Sources pointed out that the Mani faction, which had the backing of at least eight district presidents, besides two MLAs and two Parliament members, was not ready to concede an inch. As per their formula, Mr. Thomas would maintain his position as the deputy chairman while Mr. Joseph could become the parliamentary party leader.
The Joseph faction, on the other hand , too appears in no mood to give in and haggles for a settlement with Mr. Joseph either as the chairman or the working chairman. If Mr. Joseph becomes the chairman, Mr. Thomas will become the parliamentary party leader.
Conversely, if Mr. Thomas is the chairman, Mr. Joseph as the working chairman-cum-parliamentary party leader. In both the scenarios, Mr. Mani will remain the deputy chairman.
“With the preliminary round of consultations failing to break the deadlock, it was decided not to hold a meeting of the factional leaders to sort out the differences for the time being,” confirmed a party source.
Meanwhile, the reports about the Joseph faction holding a group meeting near Kidangoor amidst the reconciliation attempts also came as a jolt to the reconciliation efforts. As per the report, key leaders from all the nine Assembly segments in the district had attended the meeting, besides Mr. Joseph.
According to the Mani faction, mediation attempts and factional activities can not go togetther. They also accused the acting chairman of dishonouring KC(M) founder chairman K.M. Mani by not convening a meeting of the party workers to pay homage to the deceased leader.
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