The rift in Kerala Congress (Mani) has resulted in United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate Jose Tom Pulikkunnel having to contest as an Independent candidate for the Pala Assembly by-election. Party working president PJ Joseph stood firm and ensured that Pulikkunnel did not get the party symbol.
In a related development, his group's candidate Joseph Kandathil withdrew his nomination paper filed as an Independent.
Pulikkunnel's nomination as an Independent candidate was accepted while that filed as the party one was rejected by the electoral officer on Thursday.
It was heated argument during scrutiny of papers between Pulikkunnel demanding the party symbol and Kandathil, who filed his papers only to ensure that it was denied.
Finally, the election officer went by the Thodupuzha Munsiff Court's order staying the case where Jose K. Mani, MP and son of party supremo late KM Mani, was declared the party chairman.