The battle of succession at the Kerala (M) Congress continued unabated Sunday, with both sides hardening over the choice of the new party president.
According to sources, the acting president, P.J. Joseph, is expected to convene the parliamentary party meeting after June 5, but the opposing faction has decided to abstain until the next president is selected. In their opinion, only the party chairman and no other executive has the power to convene a meeting of the party's parliamentarians.
On the other hand, Joseph remains steadfast and plans to convene the meeting after the return of Mgr. Joseph, MLA on a trip abroad, on June 5.
Adding to chaos, both factions have invaded the streets by organizing protest marches through Kottayam and Idukki to support their respective leaders in recent days. The Jose K. Mani faction also announced Sunday that she was biased as a result of the disciplinary measures taken against Idavetty's secretary of mandalam in Idukki for burning the effigy of Mr. Joseph.
In the meantime, it was reported that the Catholic Church was trying to negotiate peace between the two factions. According to sources, Mr. Jose K. Mani awaits the results of the ongoing reconciliation process before moving on to the next action.
While UDF leaders have already expressed their deep dissatisfaction at the screaming match, those leading the current round of negotiations have sent a message to leaders on the importance of staying united. In addition to the church, a few other community organizations also took part in this reconciliation effort.