Theweekendleader

Factional rifts may hurt Kerala Congress(M) in bypolls

Thiruvananthapuram

21-December-2019

With the passing away of the sitting legislator of Kuttanadu Assembly constituency- Thomas Chandy, the President of the Kerala unit of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), stage will soon be ready for another wrangling in the third biggest ally of the ruling UDF, the Kerala Congress (Mani).

With the Kuttanadu Assembly constituency contested by the Kerala Congress (Mani) for ages, trouble is round the corner as it could well be a fight to finish between the two factions in the party led by Jose K. Mani and senior legislator P.J. Joseph factions to get the seat and the top brass of UDF could well find themselves in a quandary to find an amicable solution.

Chandy, 72, passed away on Friday after battling cancer and the next Kerala Assembly polls are scheduled for 2021. The NCP which now has two legislators is an ally of the ruling CPI-M led LDF.

A senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity told IANS, if better sense does not prevail in the faction ridden Kerala Congress ( Mani), the worst affected would be the UDF, as the Assembly polls in the state is going to be held in 2021.

"The Congress party should put its foot down and if the faction ridden Kerala Congress (Mani) is not able to come up with a joint candidate, then the Congress should take over the seat. This acrimony in that party has to be contained quickly, if not the UDF would cut a sorry figure," said the Congress leader.

Meanwhile it remains to be seen if the CPI-M which leads the LDF would allow the seat to be contested by the NCP, as this constituency was almost taken over by the CPI-M in 2016, but it was only after Chandy raised a banner of revolt, he was allowed to contest, for the third time in succession.IANS