KC(M)’s Zacharias Kuthiraveli was elected the president of the district panchayat in the elections held on Wednesday, after the party led by veteran KM Mani decided to accept CPM’s support. Kuthiraveli won by securing 12 votes over his opponent and Congress leader Sunny Pambady's eight votes.

The election was necessitated by the resignation of Congress member Joshy Philip from the president post following his appointment as DCC president.

While the Congress has eight members in the 22-member district panchayat, the KC(M) and the CPM has six each. CPI’s lone representative P Sugunan kept away from the polls, while the representative of PC George faction rendered his vote invalid. With the support of the six members of the CPM, KC(M) won the election with 12 members to Congress's eight.

The development means that the Mani faction has no plans to patch up with former ally Congress. It is understood that there is a wide rift within the KC(M) over the decision to join hands with the CPM. The decision was taken by party leaders Mani and his son and MP Jose K Mani. The PJ Joseph faction has reportedly expressed their strong opposition to joining hands with CPM.

Meanwhile, the Congress has termed Mani’s decision to switch loyalties as a breach of trust.