In a surprise move, the name of M.P. Joseph, a former Kerala bureaucrat, has figured in the candidates list of the P.J. Joseph faction of the Kerala Congress (M), in the Congress-led UDF.
M.P. Joseph is the son-in-law of K.M. Mani, the founder of the Kerala Congress (M) but the faction led by Mani’s son Jose K. Mani, recently became an ally of the ruling CPI-M led Left.
M.P. Joseph is a former IAS official who took voluntary retirement a few years back and has been fielded from Trikaripur in Kannur district, which is billed as a stronghold of the Left.
Jose K. Mani is contesting his first Assembly election from Pala, the seat that his father held from 1967 to 2019, when he passed away, but in the bypoll, the candidate of Jose K. Mani lost to the Left candidate Mani C. Kappen of the NCP.
This time Kappen, after being denied his winning seat, has formed his own party and is an ally of the Congress-led UDF. He is pitted against Jose K. Mani, in the April 6 Assembly polls.
The P.J. Joseph faction has been given 10 seats by the Congress-led UDF, while Jose K. Mani was given 13 seats by the Left.
P.J. Joseph is contesting from his home turf Thodupuzha, which he won in the 2016 elections with the highest margin in the state of 45,587 votes.