Fresh trouble for Mayor as standing committee chief, member resign


Resignation part of an earlier agreement, says DCC president

Mounting pressure on Soumini Jain to step down as Mayor, ruling councillors Shiny Mathew and Delina Pinheiro tendered their resignations as chairperson of the Town Planning Standing Committee and member of the Tax Appeal Committee respectively on Saturday.

Both handed over their resignation letters to the corporation Secretary in the afternoon sparking a fresh bout of turmoil between ‘A’ and ‘I’ factions within the ruling Congress party in the city corporation. Ms. Mathew and Ms. Pinheiro are known votaries of the ‘A’ faction.

Ms. Mathew said her resignation was in keeping with the direction from the District Congress Committee (DCC) president asking all standing committee chairpersons to step down by November 23.

Ms. Pinheiro said that she resigned as advised by leaders of her faction. Asked if she would be made chairperson of a standing committee, she said it was for the leaders to decide.

DCC president T.J. Vinod said the resignation of standing committee members was part of an earlier agreement and that letters were sent to all of them in this regard. They would all resign, he said.

The resignations seem to be in response to a statement attributed to Ms. Jain in a section of the media that she would consider stepping down if the standing committee chairpersons also followed suit.

Ms. Pinheiro was among the six women councillors who had issued a joint media statement about the muddled state of governance in the Kochi Corporation hardly three weeks ago — V.K. Minimol, R. Shameena, Malini Biju, Shakritha Sureshbabu, and Gracy Babu Jacob being the others.

They had asked the party leadership to effect wholesome changes and bring about a new governing committee by replacing not just the Mayor but all standing committee chairpersons as well at the earliest. They were also critical of Ms. Jain, accusing her of dilly-dallying about stepping down.

A senior Congress leader from the district said there was stagnation of governance in the civic body, which he attributed to the intransigence of the Mayor. He said that with elections to local bodies less than a year away, stalemate over issues affecting the common man could prove costly.

He added that there was no progress either in Centrally administered schemes, including the ones under the Cochin Smart Mission, or the civic body’s own initiatives.

He pointed out that the Kochi Corporation remained the only municipal corporation which was yet to be declared open defecation-free.

Ms. Jain was not available for comment.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 5:02:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fresh-trouble-for-mayor-as-standing-committee-chief-member-resign/article30066859.ece

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