KOCHI: Reacting sharply to the decision taken by the Congress to give Soumini Jain the Mayor post, Latin community leaders in the city expressed displeasure over the decision taken by sidelining their nominee for the coveted post. According to them, the decision is nothing but injustice and breach of the pre-poll consensus between the Latin community and the UDF leadership in the district.
“The Congress leaders failed to keep the promises they made to the community before the election. They have meted out injustice to the community. By dragging the name of the community into the various debates in the media on the Mayoral candidate, they humiliated the Latin community,” said Kerala Regional Latin Catholic Council (KRLLC) Political Affairs Committee convener Shaji George.
It is learnt that Latin community leaders have already expressed their resentment to the Congress leaders. According to insiders, some of the prominent political leaders in Kochi, including MLAs and MPs, had assured the Latin community that the Mayor candidate would be from the community. “The Congress will definitely face the consequences if the promise is not kept,” they added.
It was the name of Shyny Mathew, who was elected from the Fort Kochi division, that was put forth by the Latin community for the Mayor post. Soon after the elections, senior Congress leader N Venugopal had also hinted that the Mayor would be from the Latin community. However, after the intervention of the KPCC, which issued a guideline that experienced hands should be given priority for the top posts, the leaders were forced to consider Soumini Jain over Shyny Mathew.
Though the ‘group’ managers and the Congress leadership did not mention anything about tenure-sharing between Soumini Jain and Shyny Mathew, there is a secret understanding among the leaders for term-sharing, according to party insiders. “As per the secret understanding, Shyny Mathew will get a term of two-and-half years. Soumini will have to resign from the Mayor post after that period. There will a similar change in the case of the Deputy Mayor too,” they said.