Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran has thrown his weight behind Mayor Soumini Jain by ruling out any leadership change in the Kochi Corporation. “There is no question of leadership change in Kochi. No such issue is being discussed in any party fora. Of late, there has not been any serious discussion on the issue,” Mr. Ramachandran told The Hindu when asked about the leadership change.
Incidentally, a section of the Congress leaders and Congress councillors had been campaigning for the replacement of Ms. Jain with Shiny Mathew, the chairperson of the town planning standing committee of the civic body.
The detractors of Ms. Jain had resumed the campaign after the LDF gave notice for a no-confidence motion last week against the Mayor. They had also planned to raise the issue of leadership change and clinch a deal at the Congress Parliamentary party meeting, to be held on September 4, to finalise the party strategy to face the no-trust motion.
The supporters of Ms. Mathew wanted Ms. Jain to honour the “agreement” that she shall demit office after completing two-and-a-half years as Mayor and pave way for the former.
Mr. Ramachandran said earlier there was a discussion on leadership change in the Corporation. “At that time, I had put my foot down and categorically declined the demand for replacing the Mayor. Since then, there has not been any discussion on the issue. No one has approached me with the demand for replacing Ms. Jain,” he said.
The KPCC president said the Mayor was “doing a good job” and carrying out her responsibilities in an “unblemished manner”. “People at large do not have any complaints about her... Even though there may be several interests at play in the party, the general impression must remain uppermost in our minds,” he said.
On the no-confidence motion, Mr. Ramchandran said the KPCC would soon issue an instruction to the Congress councillors. The District Congress Committee president had been asked to report on the issues and developments related to the no-confidence motion, he said.