Kerala Congress (M) is on the verge of yet another split and in all probability see a near-vertical break-up this evening. Jose K Mani, son of the recently-deceased K M Mani, had sent invites to members of the State Committee of Kerala Congress (M) to meet and elect its new Chairman. It follows a representation made by the Jose K Mani camp to ‘Acting’ Chairman P J Joseph to convene a State Committee within 10 days, armed with signatures of 123 State Committee members (more than one-fourth as mandated in the party’s constitution) to elect a new Chairman and Parliamentary party leader.
Meanwhile, the members of the State Committee owing allegiance to the P J Joseph camp are likely to give it a miss. According to the Kerala Congress (M) Constitution—a document that has gone through many amendments to suit the interests of its leaders—only the Chairman (or, the Working Chairman in his absence) has the authority to convene the State Committee through the General Secretary in-charge of the Office (Joy Abraham).
Abraham has ensconced himself in P J Joseph’s camp post Mani’s demise and has been instrumental in getting a number of State Committee members to switch loyalties. Despite that, the Joseph faction is in a clear minority in the State Committee (the apex decision-making body of the party according to its constitution). The Joseph camp has dubbed the act of convening the State Committee without due procedure an act of indiscipline if not rebellion, and will most likely challenge it in courts.