THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A pre-emptive move was made by a Kerala Congress(M) leader to prevent acting chairman P.J. Joseph from electing the party chairman at the memorial meeting held for the late K.M. Mani here on Wednesday.

Based on a petition by the Kollam district secretary of KC (M), the fourth additional court here issued an order stating that the party chairman should not be chosen at the memorial programme. Rumours were rife that Mr Joseph might take a decision to elect its new chairman at the meeting.

But party vice-president Jose K. Mani feigned ignorance about his party colleague approaching the court to stall the appointment of the party chairman.
“It was a memorial meeting which was attended by all the UDF leaders. I am not aware of Kollam district president approaching the court,” he said.

After the meeting, Mr Joseph told reporters that only the party leadership can decide who should be the chairman.”How can a district president decide about the chairman? It has to be discussed in the party first,” said Mr Joseph. The Mani faction had wanted to elect Mr Jose K. Mani as chairman. But Mr Joseph had an eye on the post after the demise of K. M. Mani. Mr Joseph will be the acting chairman until a successor is decided.The Mani faction is keen to appoint C. F. Thomas as parliamentary party leader.

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