The Kerala Congress is witnessing yet another split in the party with splinter group Kerala Congress (Jacob) splitting into two factions.
The split within KC(J) was triggered by a protracted power struggle between the party’s chairperson Johnny Nellore and its leader and sole MLA Anoop Jacob.
While chairperson Johnny Nellore’s group has decided to merge with Kerala Congress (Mani) led by PJ Joseph, Anoop Jacob and his group of followers in the party has opposed this move. Anoop’s faction has decided to remain as an independent party for the time being. Both groups, one led by Johnny Nellore and the other by Anoop, convened delegate meetings on Friday to discuss the issue.
Party chairperson Nellore even alleged that Anoop had taken money from outside in order to split the party. He also claimed that Anoop was the first to suggest the idea of a merger with the Joseph faction of KC(M).
Meanwhile, Anoop Jacob stated that there was no split in the party, and that it was just Nellore and his group of supporters joining another party i.e Joseph faction of KC(M).
He added that if a group of people decided to join another party, it was their personal decision and that KC(J) had nothing to do with it.
Labelling Nellore’s move ‘anti-party’, Anoop said that the high power committee of the party had already decided not to support a merger. This was later ratified by the state committee, he said. The MLA also added that the merger was strongly opposed during the party’s office bearers meeting on February 7.
Anoop added that a disciplinary committee will be formed to look into the events that transpired within the party in the last two days and suggest action.
According to reports, the move by Nellore is also an attempt to get a ticket from the UDF for the Kuttanad assembly seat which had recently fallen vacant due to the death of Thomas Chandy. The Kuttanad seat is usually reserved for KC(M) candidates within UDF. However, Thomas Chandy of the Nationalist Congress Party managed to defeat KC(M)’a candidate advocate Jacob and win the seat of Kuttanad in the 2016 elections.