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Thiruvananthapuram, September 1, 2020
Jose K. Mani, son of Kerala Congress-Mani's founder, late K. M. Mani, now has something to cheer about after the Election Commission recognised his faction as the original party.
Going through the claims of the rival factions led by Jose Mani and party veteran and senior legislator P. J. Joseph, the poll panel allotted the party symbol of two leaves to his faction.
Expressing his happiness, Jose Mani said truth has finally triumphed.
"This is a victory for K. M. Mani. We lost the Pala bye-election because we did not have the symbol. We will now seek the resignation of the legislators in the faction led by Joseph," he said.
On the other hand, Joseph said they will go in appeal against the EC directive.
K. M. Mani, who represented Pala assembly constituency in Kottayam district from 1967 till he passed away last year, was the final authority in their party and Joseph was second in command.
But soon after the 2016 assembly polls, when the party broke away from the Congress-led UDF and decide to sit as a separate bloc, differences surfaced between K. M. Mani and Joseph and the rift intensified after his death. The feud even led to the party stronghold of Pala falling into the Left's hands.
While Joseph has three legislators, the Jose Mani faction has two.