Rival camps of the Congress in the civic body are preparing for a showdown at a meeting to be held on Tuesday.

The meeting has been called by District Congress Committee president V.J. Poulose to find a solution to the factional feud between the ‘I’ and ‘A’ camps in the Kochi Corporation Council.

The councillors loyal to the ‘I’ faction had shunned budget discussion in the council as a mark of protest against civic administration.

Though it was speculated that the faction may oppose the budget presented in the council, they decided to keep mum following an intervention by the district Congress leadership. A meeting convened by the DCC president on the eve of the budget discussion had failed to find a solution to the vexing issue.

The ‘I’ group, which has the support of 14 councillors, will stick to its demand of change in leadership, including that of the Mayor and the chairpersons of all the Standing Committees in the council.

If the party leadership failed to find a solution to the demands, its councillors would adopt a tough stand against the civic administration, said a councillor.

He said: “While the UDF constituents, which have one or two representatives in the council, walked away with plum posts, the Congress, which has a strength of 41 councillors, didn’t get its due. The constituents have also created their fiefdom in the council, which cannot be accepted.

However, the ‘A’ faction has decided to back its nominee and Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany in the council.

A Congress leader said the demand for leadership change was unjustified as the rival faction did not have enough numbers for staking claim for the top post. The ‘A’ faction enjoys the support of majority Congress councillors in the council, he said.

Ruling out the possibility of change of guard at the council, the ‘A’ faction leader, who is also a member of the State Assembly, said the issue was not even considered in any party forum.

He blamed a senior ‘I’ group councillor, who was holding two posts simultaneously for engineering dissent in the council. If the ‘I’ group refuses to relent, the party leadership would be approached against the faction leader for holding two posts simultaneously against the party norm of one-man-one-post, he said.

The group was waiting for the outcome of the meeting convened by the DCC president next week, he said.

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