Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed for a month the decision of the Election Commission recognising the Jose K Mani faction as the official Kerala Congress (M) and alloting the party’s symbol to it. The interim stay was granted on a petition filed by senior party leader PJ Joseph challenging the Election Commission’s September 1 order.
In a majority verdict, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra had held that the Jose K Mani faction is the Kerala Congress (Mani) and entitled to use its name and its reserved symbol Two Leaves for the purposes of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968. The dispute in the party arose between vice-chairman Jose and working chairman Joseph following the death of party chairman KM Mani last year. The matter reached the poll panel late last year.