Thiruvananthapuram: Vijayan moves to break the back of Congress in Kottayam. Pinarayi Vijayan who has become the last word in Kerala’s Left politics, has started his latest move and it is to break the Congress party’s back in Kottayam district and for that he is using former Congress-led UDF ally Kerala Congress (Mani) led by Jose K. Mani.
For decades in Kottayam and in other neighbouring districts, the UDF was sitting pretty, but with the departure of Jose from the UDF last year and crossing over to the CPI-M led Left, where they were given 12 seats to contest the April assembly polls and won five seats, it has become clear that it’s Jose and not his former senior party colleague and UDF leader P.J. Joseph, who has a better following.
But the only aberration for Jose came when he was humbled by Mani C. Kappen from his home turf Pala in the Kottayam district.
However, Vijayan who sees politics in a larger canvas decided to give full support of Jose, even though he lost and offered his party a cabinet minister and the Chief Whip post, which has been given cabinet status.
Of late, Jose is now more seen at the state party headquarters of the CPI-M and now things are becoming clear, that Vijayan and CPI-M have given the nod to see that he makes the first move, which has been done, after news surfaced that several top leaders present in the party of Joseph-Kerala Congress have in principle decided to move to Jose’s party.
“It’s not just senior leaders from Kerala Congress, but even other parties like the Congress party have shown their interest to join us and have held talks also. Our party steering committee is scheduled for June 14th,” said Jose on Thursday.
Kottayam district has nine assembly seats and at present the Congress party has two, Jose has three and Joseph, CPI-M and CPI one each, besides Pala now held by Kappen, who joined the UDF, after the Left gave his sitting seat to Jose to contest.
Another reason for Vijayan’s total support to Jose is the district is home to a sizeable Christian population, especially the Catholic community, which according to poll pundits, during this election largely voted for the Left.
Meanwhile, Vijayan’s olive branch to Jose is likely to continue and at present apart from being the chairman of his party, Jose has no official post, as he early this year had quit from the Rajya Sabha, on moral grounds that he had won the seat from the UDF.
“I have not asked for any post as, the party post which I hold (chairman) is in itself a big responsibility and has lots of work in it,” added Jose.