Chairpersons may step down this week, paving the way for revamp

The persistent campaign of the ‘I’ group for a reconstitution of Standing Committees of Kochi Corporation finally succeeded on Sunday with the Congress and the UDF partners yielding to the demand.

A meeting of UDF partners, convened by the DCC president V.J. Poulose here on Sunday, decided to hold a final discussion on allocation of committees among the partners on Thursday.

Mr. Poulose said all the UDF partners had agreed to the proposal for reconstituting the committees at the meeting.

“Certain technical aspects such as shifting councillors to some Standing Committees need to be discussed. The discussion will be completed within a couple of days," he said.

The front partners — Indian Union Muslim League, Socialist Janatha (Democratic) and Kerala Congress (M) — were given three days for deciding on their chairperson candidates and their choice regarding the committees. Going by the indications, the present Standing Committee chairpersons may step down on Friday or Saturday, paving the way for the reallocation of power.

Factional war

The heightened factional war in the Congress and the hostile attitude of the ‘I’ faction towards the civic administration had often created unpleasant moments for the dispensation led by Tony Chammany, an ‘A’ faction leader.

At times, the ‘I’ faction had openly joined hands with the Opposition councillors, embarrassing the civic administration. At one point, an ‘I’ faction councillor had even demanded the resignation of Deputy Mayor B. Bhadra, holding her responsible for the financial crisis in the civic body.

The district leadership of the party seemed to have refused to take note of the ‘I’ faction’s demand for the scalp of Mr. Chammany. It has also turned down the demand that all the Standing Committees should be reserved for Congress Councillors.

Mr. Poulose said the party had not considered the demands for replacing the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of the Kochi Corporation.

“Any such discussion will have to be held at a higher forum and a political decision was required for such changes. Such issues were not discussed at the meetings," Mr. Poulose said.

All the front partners would be accommodated in the reshuffle and allocated Standing Committees. Every constituent would have their representatives as heads of committees he said. Dominic Presentation, MLA, who took part in the discussions, said the decision to reshuffle the Standing Committees was taken unanimously. The front partners would convey their stand regarding the portfolios on Thursday, he said.

League may not yield

Even as the talks of reshuffling are progressing, indications are that the reallocation would not be a smooth affair as the Muslim League was unwilling to part with the Health Standing Committee it has been holding. “The party should be given the Mayor or Deputy Mayor’s post in exchange of the Health Standing Committee,” party sources said.

More In: Kochi