The PC Thomas faction of the Kerala Congress on Wednesday left the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance and joined the Congress-led United Democratic Front, Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi reported. The Kerala Congress (Thomas) will now fight the upcoming Assembly elections in the state together with the PJ Joseph faction of the party, which was already an ally in the UDF.
The two factions will merge and file an application to contest on a common “cycle symbol”, according to Mathrubhumi. Thomas will also attend an election convention of the UDF in Kaduthuruthy town on Wednesday.
Thomas said that he was forced to leave the NDA as the BJP was not ready to give the party a single seat of its choice, against a demand of four, the Hindustan Times reported. “The BJP has asked me to contest from Pala constituency in Kottayam district and I told them I have some personal reasons for not contesting from there,” Thomas said.
The party had contested four seats in the last elections.
Joseph may reportedly become the chairperson of the newly-merged entity, and Thomas will be the working chairperson, according to Mathrubhumi.
Elections for 140 Assembly seats in Kerala will take place in a single phase on April 6. The votes will be counted on May 2.