Francis George moves to KC(M)

Major realignment of allegiance within Kerala Congress groups

In yet another realignment of allegiance within the Kerala Congress factions, the Janadhipathya Kerala Congress, a Left Democratic Front (LDF) ally, is set to join the Kerala Congress (M) led by veteran leader P.J. Joseph.

A formal announcement to this effect is expected to be made during a State committee meeting of the party to be convened by its chairman Francis George at Muvattupuzha on March 13. The merger move, initiated by Mr. Joseph, has already received endorsement from a major section of the party leadership, including the youth wing of the organisation.

A State secretariat meeting of the Janadhipathya Kerala Youth Front, which was held here on Wednesday, sought to uphold the party’s plan to merge with the Kerala Congress (M) led by Mr. Joseph and C.F. Thomas. The meeting, convened by Michael James, State president of the organisation, was attended by several State executive members.

According to sources, Mr. George is expected to be followed by a battery of senior leaders, including former MP Vakkachan Mattathil, general secretary (office charge), M.P. Poly and Thomas Kunnappally, among others. The two other key leaders of the regional outfit, Antony Raju and K.C. Joseph, however, will stay back.

Mr. George, who has been in consultation with Mr. Joseph, will be the second major Kerala Congress leader after Johny Nelloor to join the KC(M) led by Mr. Joseph. He had walked out of the KC(M) four years ago following a factional war with party leader K.M. Mani and his son Jose K. Mani.

“The dynamics of Kerala Congress has been undergoing a sea change ever since the KC(M) underwent a vertical split. The strategy adopted by the Joseph group to expand by bringing in new members and shifting old alliances, intends to give it an upper hand over the rival group within the UDF,’’ said a senior leader.

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