KC(M) succession battle ends up in courtroom

Written By Anoop Sai Bandi | Updated: June 18, 2019 20:07 IST
KC(M) succession battle ends up in courtroom

A day after a parallel meeting of the Kerala Congress (M) State committee members anointed Jose K. Mani as their chairman, the opposing faction of the party secured a court order preventing him from officiating as the chairman.

The Munsiff Court, Thodupuzha, passed a temporary prohibitory injunction in this regard on Monday on a plea submitted by Philip Stephen and Manohar Naduviladath, two KC(M) State committee members from Idukki.
The Munsiff Court also admitted the plea of the petitioners to prevent Mr. Mani “from discharging any functions attached to the office of the chairman of the Kerala Congress (M), including holding of party committee meetings, taking disciplinary actions against party office-bearers and workers, sending letter to the Election Commission of India or any other statutory authority intimating the so-called election of Mr. Mani as the party chairman or any such other matters based on the said election till the disposal of the suit.”
Mr. Mani reached the KC(M) State committee office in the evening and took the party chairman’s chair, and installed his name board in front of the chairman’s room.
Regarding the court order, the Mani faction said they were yet to come across the document.
“I have been elected as the party chairman by a meeting attended by majority of the State committee members. If anyone holds a different opinion, let them approach the ECI, which is the appropriate forum for deciding such matters,” Mr. Mani said.
The opposing faction led by working chairman P.J. Joseph held a meeting in the State capital to decide on their future course of action.
The court order came after the Mani faction intimated the Election Commission of India about the election of the new party chairman.
In a letter, sent by K.I. Antony who had convened the State committee meeting the other day, it was stated that Mr. Mani was selected as the party chairman in ‘a special meeting’ of the KC(M) State committee.
Meanwhile, Tony Thottam, a KC(M) councillor in the Pala municipality on Monday alleged that he received a death threat over phone for abstaining from the parallel State committee meeting in Kottayam.
Mr. Thottam said the person, purportedly calling from the U.K., threatened to target him and his school-going children.
Speculations are also rife about the Left Democratic Front attempting to woo the Mani faction.