Thiruvananthapuram: P. J. Joseph and his loyalists feel since he's the natural choice to lead the party as working chairman after the death of chairman K. M. Mani, the right to call the state committee meeting also lies with him.
He has vowed to take disciplinary action against those who called the state committee meeting under the anti-defection law, formalising the split.
The decision of the Election Commission will be crucial as Jose K. Mani faction has given a letter stating that Mr Joseph is not the interim chairman.
Mr Joseph had maintained that those attending the alternative state committee meeting would no longer remain in the party. Ashe has the support of three of its five MLAs, he is likely to take strict action. He has got the backing of party veterans like C. F. Thomas MLA and organisational general secretary Joy Abraham, the trusted lieutenants of the late K. M. Mani.
Mr Joseph is confident as constitutionally he has got powers as the acting chairman.
He has the support of legislators C. F. Thomas and Mons Joseph, while Mr Mani has got two, Prof. N. Jayaraj and Roshy Augustine.
He told reporters that there was no returning officer when the rivals elected Mr Mani as chairman.
"The party can work only as per the constitution. For convening the state committee, it needs notice at least ten days in advance. Majority of members at Sunday's meeting were bogus," he said.
His formula was C. F. Thomas as chairman, himself as parliamentary party leader and working chairman and Mr Mani as the deputy chairman.
But Mr Mani outrightly rejected this formula much to the displeasure of Mr Joseph.
Fifteen of 29 high power committee members had given a letter to Mr Joseph seeking a consensus.
"Only the chairman has got the power to call the meeting. The last time the election to choose the chairman was held during 2018. So until then, it is a temporary setup," said a Mani faction leader....