Premakumar is UDF’s Dy. Mayor nominee

According to a power-sharing pact, Premakumar was to be given the post of Deputy Mayor after T.J. Vinod’s resignation.  

K.R. Premakumar, who represents the Konam division of the Kochi Corporation, may become Deputy Mayor if all councillors of the faction-ridden Congress and the UDF vote in his favour.

Given the strength of the UDF in the 74-member corporation council, it should be a cakewalk for Mr. Premakumar.

Antony to be fielded

While the UDF enjoys the support of 37 members, the LDF has 34 and the BJP two. The LDF, which hopes for a few Congress councillors to make their votes invalid as done elsewhere, is likely to field K.J. Antony as its candidate. The two BJP members will boycott voting.

The name of the Deputy Mayor candidate was announced at the parliamentary party meeting of Congress councillors held on Sunday and later at the UDF meeting.

District Congress Committee (DCC) president T.J. Vinod, MLA, announced the candidature of Mr. Premakumar at the meeting.

Senior leaders of the party had met on Saturday to finalise the candidate. Since the post of Deputy Mayor was allotted to the ‘I’ faction, there were no other contenders. Moreover, there had been a power-sharing agreement in the party according to which Mr. Premakumar was to be given the post after Mr. Vinod’s resignation, said a Congress leader.

Election on Nov. 13

The election will be held on November 13.

It was Mr. Vinod’s resignation after being elected as legislator that warranted the election.

Call for resignation

Of late, the Congress contingent in the corporation has been rocked by factional feuds, with a section of party councillors demanding the resignation of Mayor Soumini Jain.

Though dissidents had succeeded in taking up the issue with the political affairs committee of the Congress, the forum did not take a decision as a host of senior party leaders rallied behind Ms. Jain.

The committee also entrusted Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullapally Ramachandran to take a decision on the contentious issue.

As Ms. Jain’s detractors intensified their campaign pitch, the councillors loyal to her too came out in the open.

Two women councillors even threatened to withdraw their support to the UDF-led regime if Ms. Jain was removed from the post.

It is to be seen whether the party leadership will be able to flock its councillors together and get its candidate elected.

The party may consider the question of leadership change after the election of Deputy Mayor, hoped a councillor.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 9:10:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/premakumar-is-udfs-dy-mayor-nominee/article29939785.ece

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