The KC-M was with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) for over three decades and has now moved out of it.

Ahead of crucial Kerala bye-poll all parties seek KM Manis support
news Politics Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 09:17

Ahead of the upcoming crucial Chengannur assembly bye-election, the three rival fronts in Kerala -- UDF, Left and BJP -- are vying for the support of Kerala Congress-Mani (KC-M) chief KM Mani.

"On Thursday, Saji Cherian (CPI-M candidate) came to me and asked for my party's support for his candidature. The intriguing thing is that while the candidate came and sought votes, one party (CPI) says they do not want our votes," Mani told the media on Friday.

Of late, there has been a differences of opinion between the CPI-M and the CPI over seeking Mani's support for soon-to-be-announced bye polls being seen as a curtain raiser to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Friday said the "Kerala Left Democratic Front leadership will decide on what needs to be done", while former CPI General Secretary D. Raja told the media: "Whatever decision the Kerala unit of our party takes on Mani will be our decision too." 

The first to approach Mani was the top UDF brass. Last week, former state BJP President PK Krishna Das also arrived at the residence of Mani seeking his party's support for the BJP candidate.

The KC-M was with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) for over three decades and has now moved out of it.

While the CPI-M has fielded Alappuzha district secretary Cherian for the bye polls, the Congress opted for local party veteran D. Vijayakumar and the BJP decided to field former state BJP president P. Sreedharan Pillai again.

Mani's party has sizeable party workers at certain pockets in the Chengannur constituency.

Its Alappuzha district secretary Jacob Thomas Aarikepuram has already gone public saying while the party's decision is yet to come on its strategy to be adopted during the polls, his personal opinion is he wants to vote for Cherian.

"We are all waiting for the election notification to come as then our party will make its stand clear and we will all follow that," said a local party worker in Chengannur.


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