Lack of consensus among IUML councillors, leaders

As the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) here takes its own time to finalise its nominee for the post of Kannur municipality chairperson, the continuing uncertainty has left a sense of resentment among Congress councillors and party workers. They are already displeased by the IUML’s adamant demand for the resignation of the incumbent chairperson to honour the pact between the two coalition partners over sharing the five-year tenure of the post.

It has been a week since Congress councillor M.C. Sreeja stepped down as chairperson on completing two years and a half to allow an IUML woman councillor to assume the office for the remaining part of the tenure.

The lack of consensus among the IUML councillors and party leaders here has been delaying the choice of a nominee from two contenders for the post. According to the IUML circles, IUML councillors Roshni Khalid, who is the chairperson of the development standing committee, and C. Zeenath are the front-runners for the post.

“Consultation among the councillors and party leaders is already under way to choose the party’s nominee for the post,” V.K. Abdul Khader Moulavi, senior IUML leader in the district, said when contacted on Wednesday. There was no need for any haste in choosing the nominee as the State Election Commission (SEC) had not yet issued a notification fixing the date for the election of a new chairperson, he said. The party would finalise its candidate in two days.

He denied that there were serious differences among the party councillors and leaders over whom to choose from the two contenders.

The Congress councillors and leaders here, however, have privately taken umbrage at the continuing delay. The memory of the recent tussle between the IUML and the Congress over the former’s demand for Ms. Sreeja’s resignation as part of the tenure-sharing agreement is still fresh in their minds. Ms. Sreeja’s request for extending her part of the tenure for one more month had been turned down by the IUML. She demitted the post on May 8.

A Congress councillor and chairman of a standing committee confided that the Congress councillors and the leadership here had started feeling resentment over the uncertainty in the election of the new chairperson.

The Kerala Municipality Act does not stipulate any time frame for the election of a chairperson to fill the vacant post, he said. Any vacancy in the office of the chairperson should be reported by the municipal secretary to the SEC and the latter should take steps for the election, he noted. For the IUML, there was nothing to complain about now that its councillor and vice-chairman C. Sameer was now in charge following Ms. Sreeja’s resignation, he said.

The Congress and the IUML have 16 councillors each in the 42-member municipal council. An Indian National League councillor is supporting the UDF.

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