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After 36-Hour Drama and Revolt in Kerala Congress, Ally Picks Jose K Mani for Rajya Sabha Nomination

The decision to field Jose was taken at a party meeting in Pala near Kottayam hours after the KM Mani-led party re-entered the UDF alliance following a two-year gap.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18

Updated:June 9, 2018, 8:54 AM IST
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After 36-Hour Drama and Revolt in Kerala Congress, Ally Picks Jose K Mani for Rajya Sabha Nomination
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Kottayam (Kerala): The Kerala Congress (M) has decided to field Jose K Mani as the candidate for Rajya Sabha elections, capping a 36-hour drama which triggered a massive revolt in alliance partner Congress’ state unit.

The decision to field Jose was taken at a party meeting in Pala near Kottayam hours after the KM Mani-led party re-entered the UDF alliance following a two-year gap.

Jose K Mani, son of KM Mani, is currently the party's lone member in Lok Sabha from Kottayam parliamentary constituency.

According to sources, the Kerala Congress (M) top brass decided to field Jose to secure his berth in Parliament as his chances in the next Lok Sabha elections are bleak due to an uneasy relation with the Congress.

"Jose K Mani will be the party's candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections. It is a unanimous decision," senior leader PJ Joseph told reporters in Pala after the meeting.

Jose started his political career by finishing a poor third in Muvattupuzha in the 2004 parliamentary elections. In 2009, he contested from Kottayam and defeated CPM’s Suresh Kurup by a margin of more than 70,000 votes. He was re-elected in 2014, defeating JD(S) heavyweight Mathew T Thomas. He is at present part of the Lok Sabha Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture.

Earlier on Friday, Kerala Congress (M) announced its decision to return to the UDF fold after the Congress decided to support its candidate for the Rajya Sabha election.

The seat is currently held by Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurian of the Congress who will retire on July 1.

The Kerala Congress (M) had walked out of the Congress-led UDF in August, 2016, ending over three-decade-long association alleging it was being "insulted" by the party leading the alliance.
After it snapped ties with the Congress nearly two years ago, the Kerala Congress (M) has maintained that it was keeping equidistance from the UDF, the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, as also the BJP, which is trying to create a sustainable political space for itself in the southern state.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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