Kerala Congress factions to merge on May 27

Last Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 20:25

Kottyam: Leaders of Kerala Congress factions
K M Mani (KC-M) and P J Joseph (KC-J) on Saturday announced their
decision to merge their parties on May 27, ignoring resentment
from the Congress that heads the UDF of which KC(M) is a
constituent.

Joseph, whose party was a constituent of the ruling LDF,
had left the coalition and cabinet membership a fortnight ago
ahead of his plans to merge with Kerala Congress (M).
The decision to merge the two parties was formalised at a
leadership meeting of the outfits held here today, where they
also reached an agreement on sharing the key party posts.

At a joint press meet, Mani and Joseph said the merger
meeting would be held here on May 27.

As per the merger formula, Mani will be the Chairman of
the party and leader in the assembly while Joseph would be the
"working Chairman".

Joseph`s nominees would be given presidentship of Idukki,
Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad districts and those from the
Kerala Cong (Mani) would retain the presidentship of the
remaiming 10 districts.

Mani said he would hold discussions with the Congress
leadership on May 17 to remove that party`s misgivings over
the merger plan.
The move of Kerala Congress factions to merge and become
part of the UDF had sparked strong resentment in the
Congress, which saw it as part of a gameplan to emerge as
force to reckon with in Kerala`s Christian heartland Central
Travancore.

The merger of the two factions reportedly had the
blessings of some powerful sections of the Catholic Bishops in
the state.

The Congress`s student wing in the state, KSU, recently
submitted a memorandum to AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi
against admitting Joseph to the UDF, against whom the student
outfit had levelled corruption charges and organised
agitations in the past.

Congress leaders had sent clear signals to the Kerala
Congress that their claim for a larger share of assembly seats
in the polls next year would not be conceded.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 20:25

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