KOCHI: With the Lok Sabha elections on the doorsteps, the UDF leadership in the district is making all-out efforts to quell the factional feud within the party by bringing leadership changes in the local bodies.
It is learnt that the District Congress Committee has directed the district panchayat president Asha Sanil to resign and pave the way for Molly Kuriakose. The DCC president T J Vinod has reportedly asked the district panchayat president to step down from the post on April 24. Molly Kuriakose had allegedly threatened to resign from the councillor post, she had resigned from the chairperson’s post a few months ago.
Though a section of the party workers had demanded a change of guard in both the local bodies- Kochi Corporation and District Panchayat- senior leaders had delayed it as they were afraid that the move would impact the Lok Sabha election.
According to the senior Congress leaders, a change of guard will be in effect after the Lok Sabha polls.
“There was an agreement with between ‘A’ and ‘I’ factions of the Congress to hand over the seats after two and a half years. However, it failed to materialise due to several reasons and had generated factional feud in the party. Since it was not a good move to bring a change of guard ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the move was delayed. But if we again delay it for some months it may reflect in the election results. We don’t want that to happen it at any cost. The leadership does not want to take any risk at this time. So in order to maintain peaceful atmosphere in the party a change of guard is necessary,” said a top source within the district Congress leadership.
Meanwhile, the Congress leaders also admitted that the discussions in the party had already begun to bring change of guard in the Corporation. As per the plan, Town Planning Committee chairperson Shiny Mathew would get the chance to become the Mayor.
Though she had resigned from the chairperson’s post in protest against the District leadership’s failure to hand over the assured Mayor’s post, the DCC refused to accept the resignation.
“It is true that a decision regarding the district panchayat has already been taken. Most likely Asha Sanil would submit her resignation on April 24 itself. Though there is an agreement in Kochi Corporation as well, several religious equations need to be considered. It will take another few months to sort out the issue. The discussions regarding Kochi Corporation would be started only after the election,” said the Congress leader requesting anonymity.
However, apparently the DCC has not officially conveyed the message. “So far I haven’t received any letter from the DCC president to resign from the post. I got this opportunity because of my party. If the party asks me to resign I will resign from the post. For me the party’s decision is everything,” said Asha Sanil, District Panchayat president when asked about the new development.
However, Mayor Soumini Jain said she is not aware of any such discussions.“I am unaware of such discussions,” said the Mayor when asked about the party’s move. DCC president T J Vinod was unavailable for comment.
The Congress leaders admitted that the discussions in the party had already begun to bring change of guard in the Corporation. As per the plan, Town Planning Committee chairperson Shiny Mathew would get the chance to become the Mayor