Assembly Election 2021: PC Thomas-led Kerala Congress quits NDA, merges with PJ Joseph faction

Since the Kerala Congress headed by Thomas is a registered party, the merger is likely to help the Joseph-led faction retain the name Kerala Congress and apply for a common symbol for its candidates contesting in the upcoming Assembly polls

Press Trust of India March 17, 2021 21:03:13 IST
Assembly Election 2021: PC Thomas-led Kerala Congress quits NDA, merges with PJ Joseph faction

File image of PC Thomas. News18

Kochi/Kottayam: Ahead of the 6 April Assembly polls, the Kerala Congress headed by former Union Minister C Thomas on Wednesday quit the BJP-led NDA and merged with another Kerala Congress faction headed by P J Joseph, which is a constituent of the Congress-led UDF.

Thomas, who helped the NDA register its first electoral victory in Kerala by winning the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from then Muvattupuzha seat, quit the BJP-led alliance alleging that his party was neglected by the front when the seats were allocated for the 6 April polls.

The Kerala Congress leader, who was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, said his party was given four seats in the 2016 Assembly polls but not a single seat was allocated this time. Thomas said the BJP leadership had offered him the Pala Assembly seat but he did not opt for it due to some personal reasons.

Later in the afternoon, the merger took place at an election convention of the UDF held at Kaduthuruthy in the Kottayam district. Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy and senior leaders of the Kerala Congress Joseph faction attended the election convention of sitting MLA from Kaduthuruthyconstituency Mons Joseph.

Mons Joseph is a senior leader of the Joseph faction, which lost its election symbol and recognition following its split with the Jose K Mani-led Kerala Congress (M). The merger became a reality two days after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by PJ Joseph challenging the Election Commission's order recognising the Jose K Mani faction as the official Kerala Congress (M) and allotting the party's symbol to it.

Since the Kerala Congress headed by Thomas is a registered party, the merger would help the Joseph-led faction retain the name Kerala Congress and apply for a common symbol for its candidates contesting in the Assembly polls on UDF tickets, sources said.

Welcoming the merger of two Kerala Congress groups, Chandy said Thomas has reached the right place and said more such democratic forces will join the Congress-led alliance in the state.

Thomas expressed hope that more people will join the Kerala Congress.

Updated Date:

also read

PM Modi targets Congress, says BJP-led government restored faith in innovative strength of youth
India

PM Modi targets Congress, says BJP-led government restored faith in innovative strength of youth

The Prime Minister said that the BJP-led government, after taking over in 2014, revived the spirit of innovation in India's youth

BJP works to create divide, Congress to connect with all, says Rahul Gandhi
India

BJP works to create divide, Congress to connect with all, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said there is a fight between two ideologies in the country

BJP president JP Nadda takes a dig at Congress; says it's now party of 'bhai-behen'
Politics

BJP president JP Nadda takes a dig at Congress; says it's now party of 'bhai-behen'

Addressing a seminar on 'Threat of Dynastic Parties to Democratic Governance', Nadda said dynastic parties, where a person's interest reigns supreme, lack ideology and are a threat to the idea of democracy