KOCHI: The decision of a UDF faction of councillors of Kalamassery municipality to stay away from the election to the post of chairman and vice-chairman on Wednesday caught the District Congress Committee on the wrong foot. The election has been put off for Thursday due to shortage of quorum. The Congress leadership is planning to take action against outgoing chairman Jamal Manakadan and 12 ‘I’ group councilors who fielded Rukiya Jamal, wife of Jamal Manakkadan for the post, irrespective of KPCC guidelines. Earlier, the panel fielded Rukia Jamal to the post, but the KPCC directed the DCC president to field ‘A’ group councillor Jessy Peter, as the guidelines state that the post should go to an experienced councillor. In the 42-member council, the UDF has 23 councillors - 13 of ‘I’ group and five each of ‘A’ group and Muslim League.
Tension mounted when DCC president V J Paulose convened a parliamentary party meet at Kalamassery to support Jessy Peter, also Development Standing Committee chairman in the outgoing council, as the chairperson.
But the ‘I’ faction stood against it and the KPCC guideline to cast an ‘A’ group leader. The councillors were directed to keep off the polls to initiate further discussions. Meanwhile, the 12 ‘I’ faction councillors unofficially threatened resignation in protest against the KPCC move putting the DCC in a fix. “If the KPCC issues a whip to support Jessy Peter it should reach the councilors but none has recieved such a guideline,” said A K Basheer, ‘I’ group councillor and Congress Mandalam Committee president.