Leaders who left the Kerala Congress (M) in protest against its chairman K M Mani’s style of functioning formed a new party named Kerala Congress (Democratic) on Wednesday.
The party would be led by former MP Francis George, son of late K M George, one of the founders of Kerala Congress in 1964.
George and other Kerala Congress leaders Antony Raju, K C Joseph and former Rajya Sabha member Vakkachan Mattathil are prominent figures in the new party, which is a splinter group of Kerala Congress (M), an ally of the Congress-led ruling UDF.
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Kerala Congress (D) would be an addition to the battery of Kerala Congress groups, such as Kerala Congress (M), Kerala Congress (Jacob), Kerala Congress (B) and Kerala Congress (Secular).
George said the party would have a convention in Kottayam on March 16 to work out its structure.
The seat-sharing talks with the CPM would be held only after the convention, he added.
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Following a revolt in Kerala Congress (M) led by George, the LDF had welcomed the rebels to its fold.
However, the CPM wanted the new party to demonstrate its strength before it claims seats to contest the Assembly polls with LDF support. The convention is aimed as a show of strength.
George alleged that Mani had tried to forge a secret understanding with BJP, which is in violation of the basic principles of Kerala Congress (M).
Mani had tried to join hands with BJP at a time when minorities and Dalits are being targeted at the behest of Sangh Parivar, he said.