Mani decided to field his close confidant Chazhikadan from Kottayam, rejecting claims by KC(M) working chairman and former state minister P J Joseph for the lone seat allotted to the party by the UDF.
A series of meetings of the KC (M) leaders were held here to decide the partys candidate but failed to reach a consensus over Josephs candidature as K M Mani and his son Jose K Mani wanted to keep the seat within their fold.
While the supporters of Joseph strongly argued for his candidature, supporters of Mani opposed it, arguing that no sitting MLA should be fielded as the Lok Sabha candidate.
We will unitedly fight and win the Kottayam seat, Chazhikadan told reporters soon after Mani declared him as the UDF candidate.
He claimed that Joseph and his faction would support his candidature.
Chazhikadan also dismissed suggestions that Joseph and his supporters would leave the party.
There was no immediate reaction from the Joseph group.
The CPI (M) has fielded its district secretary V N Vasavan in Kottayam.
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