Jose Mani resigns RS seat, to contest Kerala Assembly polls

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 9 (IANS) Kerala Congress (Mani) leader Jose K. Mani, who recently switched sides to the ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front in Kerala, has resigned his Rajya Sabha seat. He quit as he had secured the Rajya Sabha seat while he was with the opposition Congress-led UDF.

Mani said that he had met Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Rajya Sabha Chairman, and submitted his resignation.

Providing Rajya Sabha seat to Mani was a move by former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to counter his rival in the state Congress P.J. Kurien, who was then Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, in June 2018.

His political reasoning was to bring back the sulking Kerala Congress (Mani) back into the UDF fold. Interestingly the late K.M. Mani immediately agreed to the proposal and the RS seat was provided on a platter to his son Jose K. Mani who was then a sitting Lok Sabha MP from Kottayam.

However after the demise of K.M. Mani, Jose K. Mani switched sides and is now part of the ruling LDF as he quit the Rajya Sabha seat to contest from Pala Assembly seat in the 2021 election.

Mani contesting from Pala seat has already created problems in the NCP, another constituent of LDF as sitting Pala MLA and NCP leader Mani C. Kappan who wrested the seat from Kerala Congress (Mani) after five decades, has already raised the banner of revolt.

NCP is heading for a vertical split with Kappan and party state president T.P. Peethambaran and a major chunk of NCP leaders in discussions with the UDF while the lone minister of the party A.K. Saseendran sticking to LDF.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has met both the warring factions and insisted that the party must not surrender any of its seats.

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