CPM criticizes mayor Arya amid concerns over vote erosion,city administration

At the two-day district committee meeting, major criticism came up against the corporation administration and the mayor.
Arya Rajendran
Arya Rajendran (Photo | Special arrangement)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Taking serious note of vote erosion in the city limits as reflected in the Lok Sabha polls, the CPM wants urgent corrective measures to ensure that the party retains city administration in the next local body polls. Mayor Arya Rajendran, who drew severe flak at the district committee meeting for various issues including the recent row involving a KSRTC driver, has been given an ultimatum by the leadership. In view of BJP’s growth, the party has to be more cautious and vigilant in the running of the corporation, felt the leadership.

At the two-day district committee meeting, major criticism came up against the corporation administration and the mayor. The whole KSRTC episode discredited the party among the people. Some leaders criticised the party leadership as they felt the party had failed to handle the issue seriously and effectively.

Severely criticising the mayor, some leaders said actions by the mayor and Sachindev, MLA, amounted to hooliganism. It’s good that the memory card from the KSRTC bus could not be retrieved. Otherwise, it would have put the party in a far more embarrassing position, as more people would have then seen their public behaviour. The two leaders should have shown more maturity, opined a critic.

Another leader said the mayor and the city administration were paying scant attention to the running of the corporation. Referring to the pathetic state of roads, leaders said immediate steps should be taken. “City roads are in a dilapidated state. And when it was pointed out by Kadakampally Surendran, he was publicly put down by minister Mohamed Riyaa. The statement that Kadakampally was speaking for the contractors should have been avoided,” said another leader.

Sources said discussions were held within the party about replacing the mayor. However, it was decided that the young leader be given one more chance. “The party leadership is unhappy with the functioning of the mayor. Not only the recent controversy related to the KSRTC driver, but there are a slew of other issues too. The party wants her to take corrective steps,” said sources.

There’s a general impression within the party that retaining power in Thiruvananthapuram corporation would not be easy this time around. The LS poll result and increase in vote percentage show that the BJP has strengthened its vote base in the capital city. Moreover, the party national leadership has set its eyes on winning the Thiruvananthapuram corporation. It’s in this backdrop that the party felt that the mayor should urgently mend her ways.

There’s a general concern within the party about whether it will lose the crucial corporation in the next local body polls. Mayor Arya Rajendran is one of the factors, said a senior leader. “It was not a personal attack against the mayor per se. The party feels that she’s an effective administrator with good floor management skills. She also holds discussions with the stakeholders, when it comes to implementing plan schemes. Moreover political decisions regarding the corporation are taken in a collective manner by the parliamentary party. The KSRTC episode, however, should have been avoided,” said a senior leader. Earlier the mayor had drawn flak at the district secretariat meeting too.

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