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Idukki:

After numerous speculations, PJ Joseph finally declared his support for Congress. He implied that he was denied the seat because of plotting by party leadership. Earlier there were reports suggesting that Joseph might contest from Wayanad seat.

PJ Joseph, who is currently the working president of Kerala Congress (M), called out the factionalism within the party in a hurriedly carried out press conference. He hinted that Jose K Mani thwarted his prospectus.

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He accused that the faction led by KM Mani, who is the chairman of KC(M) along with his son Jose K Mani used regionalism as a reason to deny him the ticket. He also said Mani told him directly that party members from Kottayam won’t be happy if Joseph is contesting as he hails from Idukki.

“Though I had made my point clear that I was ready to contest from Kottayam, Idukki or Chalakkudy, Jose K Mani turned down my suggestion,” Joseph said. As per the reports, he also openly revealed his discomfort in working with Jose K Mani.

“I will support UDF and its candidates but I cannot work with Jose Mani,” he said.

He also detailed the names of party leaders who have contested the seat and hailed from Idukki, tearing apart Mani’s logic. He also suggested that Congress was ready to let him contest from the Idukki seat with certain conditions. Though he did not reveal the stipulations, it was widely discussed that Congress might give him a ticket in its official symbol.

Kerala Congress had demanded two seats initially which was negotiated to one seat later. Currently, Chazhikkadan, a Mani loyalist will be contesting from the much talked about Kottayam seat.

Raising the issue of dual justice, Joseph said, “ The decision to field Jose K Mani as the Rajya Sabha candidate was taken at the Parliamentary Party meeting. But in my case, Party took a decision in favour of me, it was later changed citing flimsy reasons.”

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