Change is brewing in the Varkala municipality with councillors of the ruling Congress ‘I’ and ‘A’ factions seeking the intervention of the District Congress Committee (DCC) for a change of guard of the council.
Letters submitted separately by the Congress factions during the last week of September alleged that the administrative functioning of the municipality has come to a standstill over the past two years. They wanted the party higher-ups to “step in and avert a scenario where the Congress would not win enough seats to form an opposition after the next elections.”
They contended that the area witnessed no development under the leadership of ‘A’ group’s K. Sooryaprakash.
Former chairman and councilman elected from Jawahar Park ward N. Asokan said it was no secret that the municipality had been struggling for the past few years, primarily due to absentee officials. With no implementing officers, including the secretary and the senior engineers, projects enlisted in the Budget for 2012-13 remained on paper.
In fact, since the Plan fund expenditure fell far short of 50 per cent of the allotment during the previous financial year, the municipality was penalised 20 per cent of the funds they would have earned this year, a council member claimed.
No pre-poll agreement was forged between the factions agreeing to change the chairperson at the end of the first half of the five-year tenure, similar to the process the Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat underwent a few months ago.
Interestingly, the same section of council members (belonging to ‘A’ group) who nominated Mr. Sooryaprakash into power was the first to demand a change of guard. Five ‘A’ faction council members, including two standing committee chairpersons, Biju Gopalan and S. Jayashree, have signed the letter. ‘I’ group members, Mr. Asokan, vice-chairman of the municipality S. Sumaiyya, S. Prasad, Y. Shajahan, and Kerala Congress (M) member Varkala Sajeev also signed the letter detailing their concerns to the DCC.
Councillors of ruling Congress ‘I’ and ‘A’ factions demand that DCC intervene for a change at the helm of Varkala municipality.