The proposed reshuffle of posts in the civic administration may pose fresh problems for the ruling dispensation as several incumbents have strongly opposed the move. Some have even questioned the authority of a section of the Congress leaders to hold discussions on the reshuffle.
Though the UDF leaders were to meet in Kochi on Thursday to discuss the reshuffle, it was postponed to Friday following a demand from the Indian Union Muslim League. The League wanted to bring in State Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju as its chief negotiator for the meeting.
Mr. Kunju will present the case of the party at the meeting and demand a significant post in the civic administration in lieu of the chairmanship of the Health Standing Committee of the corporation. “The party has not discussed any proposal regarding the resignation of its chairman in the council till now,” said a senior leader.
Meanwhile, R. Thyagarajan, the Chairman of the Education Standing Committee of the council and a Congress councillor, demanded that N. Venugopal, the chairman of the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), resign his membership in the council.
“The simultaneous holding of the GCDA chairmanship and councillorship of the Kochi Corporation is against the principle of one-man-one-post followed in the party. Mr. Venugopal should quit either one of the posts he is holding simultaneously and follow the party guideline,” Mr. Thyagarajan said.
An opportunity would be created for a new party worker if Mr. Venugopal resigns from a post he is holding, he said. Mr. Thyagarajan said there was no question of him resigning the post and no one in the party had ever discussed the issue. The KPCC president had made it clear that sharing of power would be implemented wherever there were written agreements to the effect.
No such agreement had been made in the Kochi Corporation. Moreover, the reported discussions by some section of the Congress leaders, who were not holding any posts in the party had no validity. No one had authorised such leaders for holding any discussions, he said.
A Muslim League leader wanted the chairpersons of the ‘I’ faction to step down first and show the way for others.
If the faction leaders are honest about their demands, they should first resign and then ask for the reshuffle, he said.