KOTTAYAM: The confrontation between P.J. Joseph and Jose K. Mani factions of Kerala Congress (M) is giving a headache to the UDF as proved by the Pala by-election defeat last month.
A senior Congress leader feels the only way out is their reunification, but there are no signs of such a possibility.
“Otherwise, the KC (M)’s future will be bleak. The two factions cannot remain in the UDF with their differences,” he told DC.
The UDF's priority after the current round of by-elections is finding a solution to this problem as the ally has proven to be its nemesis in central Travancore.
Both factions are also aware that coexistence with irreconcilable differences will spoil the chances of the UDF and it's better one of them left the formation.
Saji Manjakadambil, its Kottayam district committee president and a Joseph loyalist, said that the issues cannot be settled until the other side accepts their leadership.
Joseph M. Puthussery, leader of the rival group, said there was no scope for such discussions right now.
“Let things go in the current way. Any such discussions will gather momentum only later,” he told DC.
A Mani group leader said that the antagonistic stand of the Joseph faction had negatively influenced voters in Pala. They are now trying to evaluate their lapses.
Because of the feud, the UDF candidate fielded by Mr Mani, Jose Tom Pulikunnel, had to contest as an independent without the KC (M) symbol of ‘double leaf’ and got defeated.