Kumbalanghi grama panchayat has joined the long list of civic bodies where the ruling Congress is faced with intra-party revolt for mid-term change of chairpersons.

Eight out of the nine Congress councillors in Kumbalanghi panchayat have threatened to move a motion of no trust against party colleague and chairperson Usha Pradeep unless the district Congress leadership conceded their demand to replace Ms. Pradeep with Susan Joseph.

Addressing a press conference here, seven out of the eight revolting Congress members led by Nelson Kochery claimed that there was a verbal deal to replace Ms. Pradeep after two-and-a-half years.

“Since the party leadership is not taking action to replace the chairperson despite all Congress members except the chairperson demanding it, we are forced to go in for a no-trust motion. Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K.V. Thomas, Dominic Presentation, MLA, and DCC president V.J. Paulose were parties to that verbal agreement. But all of them have declined to intervene despite repeated letters sent to them raising the demand for leadership change,“ Mr. Kochery said.

He said that the very election of Ms. Pradeep as the chairperson was undemocratic in the first place. After the elections in 2010, the opinion of all Congress members were taken about party nominee for chairperson. But instead of discussing it at the Parliamentary Party meeting, the party leadership chose to declare the name of Ms. Pradeep unilaterally. “Three Congress members decided to keep away from the election of chairperson in protest against this move. They changed their stance before the elections following the word given by Mr. Thomas on a mid-term leadership change. We took that word on face value and it pains that it has not been fulfilled even three years after the incumbent had come into power. In the 17-member panchayat, UDF has 10 members including a member of Kerala Congress (M) while the LDF has seven members.

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