The Congress ‘I’ group members were conspicuous at the discussion meet by their silence. Sources said the ‘I’ group councillors’ decision to abstain from the budget discussions owing to their difference of opinion with the ruling Congress ‘A’ group, was thwarted after the intervention of newly- elected KPCC president V M Sudheeran on Tuesday.
According to sources, the Congress faction had met secretly on Tuesday and decided to abstain from budget discussions.
The ‘I’ group had earlier alleged that they were not consulted during the formulation of the budget and had kept themselves away from the press meet conducted on the day of budget presentation.
Sources added that when the new KPCC president who has been urging party workers to unite since he took charge came to know about the secret meeting of ‘I’ group, he immediately called up group leaders and asked them not to resort to any protest in public.
“He asked us not to protest against the budget in public. So we decided not to criticise or support the budget,” said a Congress ‘I’ group councillor.
Congress ‘I’ leader and GCDA Chairman N Venugopal and councillor Premkumar did not even attend the budget discussion.
Another faction leader and Standing Committee chairman T J Vinod Kumar sat on the backbench of the council hall instead of his usual seat in the front row. Other Congress ‘I’ members, including councillors Leno Jacob and Tax Appeal Standing Committee chairperson Ratnamma Raju, attended only half the session.