UDF Syndicate Members in KU: Feud in Congress Foils Re-nomination Bid
The efforts of five UDF-nominated members in the Kerala University Syndicate to get themselves re-nominated, even before the elections to the Senate, has run into rough weather with the government putting the move on hold following opposition from within the Congress.
According to sources, the move to hastily re-nominate the current UDF Syndicate members was aimed at getting them into the Senate and subsequently into the Syndicate before the notification for Lok Sabha elections is issued. However, a letter from former MLA and Congress ‘A’ faction leader George Mercier to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has poured cold water over the plan.
Mercier’s letter, accessed by Express, says that “nominating persons before the completion of elections is bad legally as well as morally, giving an undue advantage to the existing members and their coterie for re-election.”
He said that only eminent academicians with high credentials should be chosen for the Senate from the constituency of higher education.
Mercier argued that though the Senate election process will be completed by February 24, the tenure of the current Senate will continue till May 16.
“Only after May 16 can the new Senate be reconstituted with newly-elected members,” he said.
Following Mercier’s objections, the Chief Minister has reportedly given directives to put the re-nomination move on hold.
Mercier is contesting he upcoming Senate election from the Trade Union constituency. 0 However, Congress nominee R S Sasikumar, who is one among the Syndicate members seeking re-nomination, clarified that the nomination was not directly to the Syndicate but to the Senate and that there was nothing wrong in the move as the Senate election process has been kick-started.
However, sources say that Mercier’s letter is a fallout of the divide within the ‘A’ faction in the Congress.
Though Sasikumar came to the Syndicate as an ‘A’ faction nominee, his proximity to elected Syndicate member B S Jyothikumar of the ‘I’ faction had reportedly ruffled many feathers.
The UDF camp in the Syndicate is still hopeful that the government would re-consider its decision and re-nominate them before the Lok Sabha poll notification so that the UDF retains its upper hand in the University elections.
The re-nomination move has angered the LDF nominees who have questioned its technicality.
“How can sitting Syndicate members get re-nominated before the expiry of their term?
Also, bringing back five UDF members to the Syndicate can be used to influence voters during the upcoming election to the Senate,” said LDF-nominated Syndicate member K L Vivekanandan.