Special Correspondent

Party support crucial for the LDF in nine grama panchayats in Kozhikode district

KOZHIKODE: A clear picture of the line of action that the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) (DIC-K) would take in local bodies in Kozhikode is expected to emerge at a meeting to be held here on Sunday.

Party office-bearers and members in local bodies in Kozhikode would attend the meeting to discuss the issues related to the DIC(K)'s future relations with the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in panchayats. The DIC(K)'s top leadership wants its members in local bodies to quit the posts of president and chairman of standing committees to which they had been elected with LDF support.

It has also demanded that no-confidence motions be moved against presidents of grama panchayat from the LDF, as the alliance with the LDF had ceased to exist. A deadline, June 30, has also been set for such actions.

But DIC(K) members are free to continue as members in local bodies. Breaking the alliance with the LDF would not entail action under the anti-defection laws, as the DIC(K) had contested the local body polls only as an ally of the LDF and not as a member of any of the constituents of that front.

The DIC(K) has in Kozhikode over 130 members in grama panchayats, five in Koyilandy municipality and eight in Kozhikode Corporation Council.

A sizeable section of DIC(K) supporters in local bodies believe that it would not be a wise step, as, in their perception, cordial and strong relations with the CPI(M) and its allies in LDF would be needed in local bodies in which the LDF is in power to get development schemes implemented in their constituencies.

Party managers are unhappy that the party president did not consult them before decisions on sensitive issues such as ties with the LDF were announced.

If the leadership's directive is obeyed, the DIC(K) would lose some top posts in panchayats in the district. The post of president of Madavoor grama panchayat is one.

The DIC(K) councillors in Kozhikode Corporation (there are eight of them) are expected to convey their views to the party leadership at the meeting tomorrow. It remains to be seen if they would defy the leadership's directive even if their views are at variance with the wishes of DIC(K) president K Muraleedharan.

Councillor U.T. Rajan, however, has already made it known that he was opposed to any action that would alienate the LDF. He said on Saturday that he had not been invited to recent meetings of the DIC(K), perhaps because the party leadership does not approve of his stand.

Local body members of the DIC(K) had also been told to bring forward no-confidence motion to unseat the LDF panchayat presidents who had won the election with DIC(K)'s support.

The DIC(K)'s support is considered critical for LDF to continue in power in at least nine grama panchayats and one block panchayat.

In most others, the LDF enjoys comfortable majority on its own.

The morale of DIC(K) supporters has been low after their party's colourless show in Assembly elections as an ally of the United democratic Front (UDF).