All India Congress Committee member Philipose Thomas on Friday quit the party to contest as a CPI (M)-backed independent from Pathanamthitta constituency.
Thomas was in the forefront of agitation against green field private airport project at Aranmula in the constituency, which the Congress government took forward. Besides, he was against fielding sitting Congress MP Anto Antony on the ground that he was an “outsider” to the constituency. Thomas said he was quitting from the primary membership of the Congress and abandoning all posts in the party to contest as an LDF candidate.
On Thursday, the CPI (M) state committee had decided to field Thomas, who belongs to Mar Thoma Christian Church, an influential sect in Pathanamthitta district. Thomas, an AICC member since 2005, had three times unsuccessfully contested to the state assembly from the district. The senior leader in the district has been pulling apart from the Congress state leadership in the wake of his stand against the Aranmula airport.
Congress and BJP flayed the LDF move to field a Congress leader as Left candidate, saying it exposed the pauperism of that front.