The first meeting of the Kollam District Congress Committee (DCC) office-bearers and block presidents of the party in the district called by newly-appointed DCC president G. Pratapavarma Thampan on Saturday was boycotted by the “I” group in the party.

“I” group sources told The Hindu that the boycott was in protest against the style of functioning of Mr. Thampan, who is from the “A” group. Twelve DCC office-bearers and 11 out of the 18 block presidents boycotted the meeting.

Sources said that their group had strong reservations against the nomination of DCC president in Thrissur and Kollam.

Larger interests

But in the larger interests of unity it was decided not to create problems in Kollam.

This is in spite of the fact that a section of the “I” group leaders in Kollam had held a secret meeting on the eve of Mr. Thampan taking charge and decided to register their protest when Mr. Thampan takes charge.

But other senior leaders of the group intervened so as to prevent any group oriented ugly scenes at the function at which Mr. Thampan took charge as the new president.

Set a model

The “I” group seniors felt that their demeanour could set a model for the new DCC president to function with harmony.

“But one of the first acts of Mr. Thampan soon after taking charge was to close down the office room of the other DCC office-bearers at the Congress Bhavan who are largely from the “I” group,” said a senior leader of that group.

Name boards

The name boards of the office-bearers were pulled down and all the furniture of that room were removed and locked.

The room was allocated to DCC office-bearers when Sooranand Rajashekaran was DCC president and the office-bearers continued to enjoy that facility at the Congress Bhavan during Kadavur Sivadasan’s tenure as DCC president and till the day Mr. Thampan took charge.