May 3, 2021 4:27:52 am
Although the CPM-led LDF retained power in Kerala with 99 seats, LDF ally Kerala Congress (M) chairman Jose K Mani lost from his party’s home land Pala.
Jose lost Pala, which his father late K M Mani represented for half-a-century, to NCP-Kerala leader and sitting legislator Mani C Kappan. The NCP-Kerala leader had won the seat in the by-election held in 2019 after the death of K M Mani. Kappan retained Pala for a margin of 15,000-odd votes.
Jose’s party bagged five seats for the LDF in central Kerala, but the loss of Pala is a setback for him. The Junior Mani had quit as a member of the Rajya Sabha early this year to contest the election from Pala, in a bid to claim the legacy of his father. If he had got elected, Jose would have emerged as a key figure in the new Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet.
Jose had earlier got elected to the Rajya Sabha on a UDF ticket when his party had been an ally of the UDF. After shifting to the LDF, he had quit the RS membership on moral grounds.
In the LDF, Jose had faced protests from a section of CPM workers who have been traditionally against the Kerala Congress (M). In fact, days before elections, KC (M) workers had clashed with the CPM in Pala.
On Sunday, Jose blamed his rival’s underhand deal with the BJP for his defeat.
In a saving grace for Jose, his rival P J Joseph’s Kerala Congress won only two seats out of the 10 it contested.
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