New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) The Election Commission has issued notice to P J Joseph faction of the Kerala Congress (Mani) party seeking reply by November 26 on the claim made by the faction led by Jose K Mani, son of K M Mani, that they are the original party, EC sources said here Monday.
Jose Mani faction has been maintaining that they are the original KC (M) as they had the highest support from the State Committee members, other office-bearers, MPs and MLAs.
Sources added that based on the reply received from the Joseph group, further decisions would be taken to fix dates for regular hearings so as to decide who are the original KC (M).
Reacting to the development, Joseph, a former Minister and Thodupuzha MLA of KC (M), told PTI that his was the real KC (M). He would forwarded the list of office-bearers and others supporting him to EC by November 26.
He also recalled the November 1 verdict of a sub-court in Kattappana of Idukki district which upheld a lower court order restraining Jose Mani from officiating and discharging any function as KC (M) chairman.
The Munsif court had earlier issued an injunction order preventing Jose Mani from officiating as KC(M) chairman.
Joseph said the court had dismissed Jose Mani's plea observing there was no need to intervene in the matter at this stage. Jose Mani has no position in the party as he did not agree with its constitution, he said.
The court has accepted P J Joseph's position as the party's working chairman and as per the party constitution he can handle the role of the chairman since the demise of chairman K M Mani in April this year.
Joseph had earlier said the party will consider accommodating Jose Mani if he comes back after "rectifying his mistakes".
The feud between Jose Mani - Joseph faction escalated to such a level that in a recent bypoll to Pala Assembly seat, represented by K M Mani since 1965, the party candidate lost the poll as he was not allocated the party symbol. Pala is in Kottayam district.
KC (M) is the third largest partner of Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). The Congress tried to bring peace between the two factions but could not succeed.
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