With the breaking away of Kerala Congress Joseph group from the ruling LDF, the latter has lost its Christian representation in the Front. This is the second party after the Janata Dal secular which has decided to come out of the Left Front.
P J Joseph has decided to walk away from his 20-year-old association with the ruling Left front. And this means he may have to give up his ministerial berth.
His party has now merged with another party in the Congress-led Opposition alliance. Joseph claims it's an attempt to strengthen pro-Christian parties.
"The LDF Government failed to allay our fears regarding minority rights particularly the Bill which sought to snatch away the rights of minorities in education sector," said P J Joseph, Kerala Congress (J) chairman.
The merger is said to have the blessings of a section of Catholic Church that wants all Christian dominated parties to unite against the Left.
"It's using religion for vested political interests. The LDF is opposed to this,' said Dr Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister.
The Congress is equally wary of the merger.
The party fears that the merger could increase the bargaining power of the regional outfit, thus weakening the Congress hold on UDF.
"For the last five years we have opposed their ministers on corruption charges, now suddenly such a party is trying to enter the UDF through backdoor, it is unacceptable to us," said Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC president.
With assembly elections in Kerala just a year away, many feel Joseph stands to gain by switching sides. But now that he's antagonised the Left and the Congress reluctant to lap him up, the road ahead for the former Kerala PWD minister seems bumpy.