A week after it parted ways with the Congress-led United Democratic Front as a fallout of an intra-party power struggle, a faction of the Kerala Congress (M) led by Jose K Mani was formally inducted into the ruling Left Democratic Front on Thursday.
Jose K Mani is a Rajya Sabha member and had been engaged in a party feud with rival leader P J Joseph after the death of KC(M) veteran K M Mani in 2019.
The red carpet entry of the Mani-led faction of the regional Christian party, which has sway in central Kerala, demonstrates the high stakes ruling CPI(M) has in the upcoming elections to local bodies this year and Assembly elections next year. It may be recalled that Indian National League (INL), a splinter group of Congress ally Indian Union Muslim League, could become an LDF ally only in 2018 after waiting outside the political front for 24 years.
After a meeting of the LDF, its convener A Vijayaraghavan told the media that the faction’s entry into the LDF is a historical decision in the state’s politics. “This would weaken UDF. The acceptance of LDF among voters would go up. Activists from other parties would also move to LDF. The decision has heightened the prospects of LDF retaining power in the next Assembly elections.”
Vijayaraghavan said Jose is joining the LDF unconditionally. “All LDF constituents, including NCP, have supported Jose faction’s entry into the LDF. The decision would help LDF make major gains in the coming civic body elections,” he said.
The LDF has not initiated the seat-sharing exercise as it may trigger fresh troubles for the political front.
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