Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the district suffered a setback on Saturday when its district convener, R. Ramachandran, of the Communist Party of India (CPI), resigned from the post. He did it in protest against the Communist Party of India (Marxist) “usurping the president’s post of the Kollam District Cooperative Bank.”

Mr. Ramachandran announced his resignation at a press conference in the presence of CPI district secretary K. Prakash Babu and district assistant secretary Sony B. Thengamam. The CPI took out a protest march through the city.

Mr. Prakash Babu said that with no convener, programmes of the front would not be taken up in the district. He claimed that it was only because of the CPI that the CPI(M) could gain entry into the bank’s director board.

The director board of the bank has 15 members — CPI(M) 8, CPI 6 and Revolutionary Socialist Party 1. When it comes to the strength of delegates, the CPI has 45 and the CPI(M) 38. On the basis of this, the CPI claimed the president’s post. Mr. Prakash Babu said that while determining the breakdown in the board, the CPI(M) and the CPI had a gentleman’s agreement that the latter could keep the president’s post.

It was this agreement that had been breached, the CPI leaders alleged. When it came to choosing the president on Saturday morning, the CPI(M) fielded Rajappan Nair as its candidate. The CPI soon fielded its candidate, B.M. Sherief. In the election, the CPI(M) won by nine votes against the CPI’s six. It is the first time that a CPI(M) leader is becoming the president of the bank.