Crisis in the Congress party in Thrikkakara municipality over the split term for the chairman post further deepened on Tuesday.
Incumbent chairman P.I. Mohammadali declined to step down and walked out along with 19 councillors from the parliamentary party meeting convened at the instance of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). The party has been in turmoil for sometime now with District Congress Committee president V.J. Paulose writing to the municipal chairman, owing allegiance to the ‘A’ faction, to handover the mantle to Shaji Vazhakkala of ‘I’ group.
While DCC maintained that there was an understanding to share the post of chairman, Mr. Mohammadali and the 19 councilors supporting him said there was no agreement to that effect, which is a prerequisite as per a KPCC circular in the case of split terms.
The parliamentary party meeting held at the DCC office in the presence of the KPCC secretary, in charge of local bodies, asked the municipal chairman to cooperate with the decision and to step down. However, the chairman and his supporters stuck to their position stating that they could not cooperate with a decision taken with scant regard for the majority opinion.
The protesting councillors led by Mr. Mohammadali then convened a press conference at Kakkanad to put forward their position. They said the party decision was anti-democratic as it overran the majority opinion. The chairman said he would continue in the post in the absence of any agreement for sharing the post with the ‘I’ group candidate. The councillors also reiterated their support for the chairman, thus putting the party in a fix. In the 43-member council, the United Democratic Front has 30 members. Of this, Congress has 25 councillors. While 21 councillors are supposed to be in the ‘A’ camp, the remaining four are known to owe their allegiance to the rival ‘I’ faction.