2 Kerala Congress MLAs quits outgoing assembly, file nominations for April 6 polls

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Kottayam (Ker), Mar 19 (PTI) Kerala Congress leaders P J Joseph and Mons Joseph resigned as MLAs on Friday ahead of filing their nomination papers for the April 6 assembly elections in the state, party sources said here.

The move came two days after the Kerala Congress faction led by P J Joseph, a constituent of the Congress-led UDF, merged with the Kerala Congress headed by former Union Minister P C Thomas which had quit the BJP-led NDA.

While P J Joseph represented Thodupuzha seat in the assembly, Mons was elected from Kaduthuruthy in the 2016 polls.

Sources said Both Joseph and Mons took the decision to resign as MLAs to avoid possible legal complications since they had won the previous polls as members of Kerala Congress (M), which is currently a constituent of the CPI(M)-led LDF.

Earlier, the P J Joseph faction had lost its election symbol 'two leaves' and recognition following its split with the Jose K Mani-led Kerala Congress (M).

On Monday, the Supreme Court had rejected an appeal filed by P J Joseph challenging the Election Commission's order recognising the Jose K Mani faction as the official Kerala Congress (M) and allotting the party's symbol to it.

The Congress-led UDF has allocated ten seats to the P J Joseph-headed Kerala Congress and they all filed nomination papers from their respective constituencies on Friday, sources said.

Since the Kerala Congress headed by Thomas was a registered party, the merger on March 17 has helped Joseph-led faction to retain the name Kerala Congress.

However, the Election Commission refused to grant the party a common symbol citing that the time has lapsed for moving the application for it, party sources said.

They said the party candidates in theirnomination papers have applied for three symbols and it was hopeful that the EC would allocate a common symbol. PTI COR TGB VS VS