Mayor may be spared; ‘I’ group eyes posts of Deputy Mayor, panel chiefs

The recent leadership changes in some of the local bodies in the district have revived discussions of leadership change in the Kochi Corporation too.

The ‘I’ faction councillors of the Kochi Corporation have decided to once again raise the issue of reshuffling of chairpersons of the various standing committees of the local body. Though the UDF district leadership, in principle, decided to reshuffle the chairpersons of the standing committees of the local body in November, the decision could not be implemented. Besides the ‘I’ faction, some of the front constituents are also reportedly keen on a change of guard in the standing committees.

Incidentally, the ‘I’ faction had succeeded in ensuring a leadership change in its favour in the Thrikkakara municipality after making the ‘A’ faction nominee, who enjoyed the majority support of councillors, step down. The faction had also succeeded in ensuring that its nominee is sworn in as Mayor of the Thrissur Corporation.

Inspired by the victories in these local bodies, the ‘I’ faction leaders have decided to ask for a change of regime in Kochi too.

Leadership change in the standing committees will be raised shortly, said M. M. Francis, the convener of the district unit of the front.

The issue will be brought to the notice of the UDF district chairman and the DCC president in the coming days. The discussions had to be dropped following some organisational issues in the Congress, he said.

The group may not immediately stake its claim for the Mayor post in the Kochi Corporation as a political decision at the State level is required for it. However, it may demand that its nominee be made the Deputy Mayor. If the ‘A’ group decides to retain the Mayor post, then the Deputy Mayor’s post should go to the ‘I’ group. The group would suggest one of its nominees to be considered for the post, said a senior ‘I’ faction leader.

Meanwhile, a senior leader belonging to the ‘A’ faction said that the issue of reshuffle was not being discussed in any party. The earlier discussion had reached no where. With the Parliament election round the corner, one cannot expect any such discussions to be initiated in the party as the leadership would be focusing its attention on the elections, he said.

Any new discussion on reshuffle would open new war fronts in the party and the party leadership may not be keen to deal with such a situation when it would be spending its energy to win the Parliament election, he said.

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