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Rediff.com  » News » Kerala poll: Rumblings inside the UDF

Kerala poll: Rumblings inside the UDF

By Arun Lakshman
March 22, 2011 09:03 IST
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Dissent is brewing within the Congress party and the Kerala Congress (Mani) faction after the parties finalised their list of candidates.

The Kerala Congress (Mani) faction received a major jolt when its general secrtary and former MLA Stephen George resigned and announced that he would be contesting from Kaduthuruthy constituency on a rival Kerala Congress (Thomas) ticket.

Stephen was upset that Kerala Congress (Mani) president K M Mani had given the seat to Mons Joseph, who had joined the party after the merger of the Kerala Congress (Joseph) (formerly with the Left Front) and the Mani faction.

Stephen and Mons Joseph were arch rivals and each had beaten the other in the last two hustings.

The Kerala Congress (Mani) may also have to reconcile with the fact that the party's sitting MLA, Joseph M Puthussery has already raised the protest banner after having been denied the party ticket to contest from Thiruvalla. Puthussery's traditional seat, Kalloopara was lost in the delimitation process.

Puthussery, while speaking to rediff.com over telephone, said that while all the sitting party MLAs were provided with seats, he was the only one left out. Puthuserry also said that he had not received any message from the party leadership as to why he was removed from the list of candidates.

Puthussery may not lie low and there are possibilities of him crossing the fence and follow the foot steps of Stephen George.

In Changanassery, the Youth Front -- the youth wing of the Kerala Congress (Mani) --

raised protest slogans and conducted protest marches in the town against the party leadership's decision to provide a seat to the party deputy chairman and former minister CF Thomas.

Youth Congress state leader Jaya Dally has already resigned from the Congress party and has become an Independent candidate supported by the left front from Kattakada in Thiruvananthapuram district against former minister N Sakthan of the Congress.

In a related development, veteran leader and former Congress MLA K Mohammed Ali has come out against the party leadership for providing seat to MM Hassan in Aluva.

Mohammed Ali, who has represented the Aluva seat for several years, told rediff.com that Hassan is a leader who has contested six times and won four times. But he has never contested from a seat for the second time, as he has no grass root contacts and does not try to establish any contact with the local people and even party cadres.

In Chengannur, former MLA Shobhana George will also contest as a rebel candidate to the Youth Congress state president PC Vishnunath. Shobana was a former MLA of the Congress party from Chengannur.

The rebel menace in the Congress has reached dizzying heights and a senior party leader who did not want to be identified told rediff.com that there will even be a rebel candidate to Congress president Ramesh Chennithala in Haripad constituency.

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Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram
 
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