Assembly elections 2016: Kerala Congress (J) leader quits party chairman post

Johnny Nellore said he would work to "ensure defeat" of Congress leaders in the Assembly polls.

PTI| Updated: Apr 03, 2016, 17:30 PM IST

Kochi: Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader Johnny Nellore, who has been denied UDF ticket from Angamaly Assembly seat, on Sunday quit the post of party chairman and said he would work to "ensure defeat" of Congress in the Kerala polls.

"I feel that I am a failure as chairman of the party. I failed to ensure at least three seats which the party had contested in the 2011 elections. In such a scenario, it is very difficult for the party to move forward under my leadership", Nellore told reporters in Idukki.

He said he would work to "ensure defeat" of Congress leaders in the Assembly polls.

His decision to quit the party is seen as his virtual exit from the Kerala Congress (Jacob), a minor partner in the Congress-led UDF in the state.

In the wake of the fresh development, the high-power committee meeting of the KC (J) will meet in Kottayam tomorrow to discuss its further course of action, party sources said.

Nellore's decision came a day after he said he would opt for a seat from Ernakulam district itself if he decides to contest the Assembly elections.

"I have three constituencies in my mind -- Angamaly, Muvattupuzha or Kothamangalam. I will opt for any of the three constituencies, if I fight elections. I am planning to utilise this opportunity to give a fitting reply to those who cheated my party and me," he had said yesterday.

After being denied another seat for it in the election, the party had earlier authorised its lone representative in the Assembly and state Food Minister Anoop Jacob to convey its "strong protest" to top Congress leadership on the issue.

The UDF decision came as Nellore was preparing to contest as the front candidate from the Angamaly seat, which he had lost in the 2011 elections.

UDF convener P P Thankachan had formally informed Nellore that KC(J) should be satisfied with just one seat, Piravom, currently represented by Anoop Jacob.

Noting that the party had contested three seats, including Angamaly in the 2011 Assembly polls, Nellore had said, "It is not the chairman of the Kerala Congress (Jacob) who is in crisis. Party is in crisis because of Congress' decision."