After nearly ten years, Congress rebels who destroyed the party in East Eleri gramme panchayat, its stronghold in this country, are rejoining the party.
The rebels, who organised a separate front, are being welcomed back at a time when the CPM leveraged rift to take possession of Kasaragod, a hill panchayat that the Congress previously defended like an unassailable fortress.
The rebel leader and panchayat president James Panthammakkal and his supporters, who stood in the polls under the name Democratic Development Front, were welcomed by party state president K Sudhakaran during a press conference held on Thursday at the Congress headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram (DDF).
Rajmohan Unnithan, a Kasaragod Lok Sabha member and leader of the Congress, announced that the DDF and the Congress will formally combine on November 20 at a ceremony in Chittarikkal, the seat of East Eleri Panchayat. Unnithan also served as the secret talks’ facilitator to bring the rebels back.
As a gesture of goodwill, Congress consented to allocate DDF four of the board’s 11 seats at the party-run East Eleri Service Co-Operative Bank. It will be held on November 12.
Despite being a member of the LDF, the Kerala Congress (M) has withdrew from the election. The departing board has two directors. With 15,000 members, the CPM is running for four seats, but it only has about 500 votes in the bank.