Trading of votes between UDF&BJP reason for my defeat, says Jose K Mani

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Kottayam (Ker), May 2 (PTI) Kerala Congress(M) leader and LDF candidate Jose K Mani, who lost to UDF rival and sitting MLA Mani C Kappan of NCP in Pala, on Sunday alleged that trading of votes between UDF and BJP was the reason for his defeat.

Mani lost by a margin of over 15,000 votes.

Speaking to reporters, he claimed that BJP's vote share came down drastically in the constituency than the votes the saffron party had secured in the previous polls.

Mani's supporters are concerned over his defeat in Pala, a seat held by his late father and Kerala Congress stalwart K M Mani for more than five decades without a break.

A KC(M) leader said Mani would have been a minister with a plum portfolio in the next Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, had he won,because it was his party that helped the CPI(M)-led alliance win many UDF strongholds, particularly in Christian- dominated constituencies in central Kerala.

They fear that Mani's role will diminish in the party and the LDF when another victorious party MLA is nominated as the minister in the next government.

Ahead of the April 6 assembly polls, Mani joined the LDF after severing his party's decades long alliance with the Congress-led UDF.

Interestingly, Kappan had won the Pala seat as an LDF candidate in the bypoll held in 2019.

He joined the UDF after revolting against the state LDF leadership following the CPI(M)'s decision to hand over Pala Assembly seat to Kerala Congress (M)-led by Jose K Mani. PTI TGB APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR