Despite being in power, things have turned messy for the Congress in Thrikkakara municipality as the ‘A’ and ‘I’ factions fight it out over the Chairman’s post.

The dispute over the post has degenerated into downright factional feud in the wake of the District Congress Committee (DCC) president V.J. Paulose’s letter to serving Chairman P.I. Mohammadali asking him to hand over the mantle to fellow councillor Shaji Vazhakkala of the “I’ faction for the rest of the term.

‘Unilateral move’

Mr. Mohammadali, identified with the ‘A’ group, has made it amply clear that he is in no mood to step down even as 19 out of the 21 Congress councillors owing allegiance to the group has come out in support of his continuation as Chairman.

Mr. Mohammadali has dubbed the DCC president’s letter as a unilateral move by an ‘I’ group loyalist.

Mr. Paulose, on his part, said that he was acting at the instance of the KPCC president while urging Mr. Mohammadali to honour a decision dating back to the start of his term.

Mr. Mohammadali claimed that at the parliamentary party meeting of the Thrikkakara municipality held on December 2, 2010, he had defeated Mr. Vazhakkala by 12 to 11 votes and was elected the party’s candidate for the Chairman’s election.

KPCC circular

He claimed that the KPCC circular clearly stated that in instances where party contestants to the post of chairman tied or were separated by a single vote then split term among the two contestants could be considered, provided there is a specific agreement to that effect. No such agreement has been entered into for sharing the Chairman’s post at the Thrikkakara municipality, Mr. Mohammadali said.

Mr. Paulose countered this stating that a five-member committee constituted by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee of which he was the convener, had decided on a split term between Mr. Mohammadali and Mr. Vazhakkala soon after the local body elections.

Asked whether there was a signed agreement to that effect, Mr. Paulose said that the committee entrusted by the party had reached such an understanding based on discussions and it was communicated in writing to all persons concerned.

More In: Kochi