KOCHI: Now, with the deputy mayor’s post in their kitty following KR Premkumar’s facile win in the election held on Wednesday, the UDF leadership faces an even bigger challenge next-up. A section of Congress councillors has demanded a major overhaul in the corporation which ought to be carried out simultaneously with the change of guard at the helm, if indeed matters come to that.
Sources said when Soumini Jain steps down as mayor, standing committee chairpersons should be replaced simultaneously. At present, the five standing committees — development, welfare, works, town planning and tax appeal panels —of the corporation are led by the UDF while the LDF calls the shots in the education and the health standing committees.
Though the LDF has a decisive majority in the finance committee, the fact that only the deputy mayor can be its chairperson gives the UDF a clear advantage in the committee.“A section of Congress councillors with the help of some Congress leaders, including Hibi Eden, MP, approached the leadership to implement an earlier agreement between the two factions. If the leadership wants to implement that agreement, they should also be ready to replace the incumbent chairpersons of the standing committee,” said a Congress councillor.
Meanwhile, some councillors and religious heads have started putting pressure on the Congress leadership, citing communal equations in the corporation, for a change at the helm. According to the councillors, since a Hindu is now the deputy mayor, the mayoral post should naturally go to a Christian. “The communal equation is a major factor in the corporation. TJ Vinodh was appointed as deputy mayor not only because he is a senior leader but also to maintain the communal balance,” a party member said.However, the KPCC is yet to take a final decision on replacing the mayor.