Staff Reporter

Party split on campaigning for the LDF

KOCHI: The schism in the State unit of the Janata Dal (S) over the support to the Left Democratic Front has found reflection in the Kochi Corporation too.

While a section of the party workers are keen on supporting the Front in the election, some others have absented themselves from the campaign front in tune with the party stand. The opinion is divided in the Kochi Corporation council too where the Janata Dal (S) has a strength of two members. The CPI (M)-led LDF had also allotted the chairmanship of the Development Standing Committee to K.J. Sohan, a former Kochi Mayor.

However, Mr. Sohan and a few others have decided not to campaign for the Front protesting against the decision of the CPI (M) to “wrest the Kozhikode seat from the party.”

“I will not campaign for the LDF till the party takes a final decision in the issue,” said Mr. Sohan.

Though the party district committee was to meet here on Sunday to consolidate its views, the meeting didn’t take place. There are divergent opinions in the district unit too and the district unit will have to meet to finalise the stand, he said.

“Presently, the party councillors are with the LDF in the Kochi Corporation. If the party decides to relinquish the posts it received as part of the Front, I will quit,” Mr. Sohan said.

At the same time, Sabu George, party councillor in the Kochi Corporation said that he was with the LDF in the council. Many of the party workers in different parts of the district are actively campaigning for the LDF candidates, he said.

Mr. Sohan, who along with others, nurses a grouse that the CPI (M) acted rudely in case of the sitting seat of the Party. “The individualistic stand taken by Mathew T. Thomas that he would be part of the LDF is unacceptable. As a party member, one should go by the collective decision of the party,” he said.

Even if Mr. Sohan quits the LDF camp, it will not affect the Front in the Kochi Corporation as the other constituents have the sufficient number in the council.

When contacted, C.K. Manisankar, Deputy Mayor, said that the Front would take a stand regarding the Janata Dal (S) based on the position that they take in the Corporation council.