No decision yet to replace Kozhikode Mayor: CPI(M)

Amidst speculations that her participation in an event of the Balagokulam, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), on Sunday could cost dearly to Kozhikode Mayor Beena Philip, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] leadership has scotched the rumours that the party is planning to replace her.

A section of the media has brought in a precedence in the CPI(M) in a similar case involving former Kollam Mayor N. Padmalochanan, who had lost his post and was suspended from the party for inaugurating a reception committee office of the RSS in connection with its State-level meeting.

With the issue triggering a controversy, the CPI(M) district leadership publicly denounced Ms. Philip's stand in a statement on Monday. Some of her remarks at the programme were also cited as contrary to the party policy and were disapproved by the district secretariat.

The CPI(M) State secretariat felt that the participation of Ms. Philip in an RSS-affiliated event was deeply embarrassing for the party and it also asked its district secretariat to take appropriate action against Ms. Philip.

However, district secretary of the party P. Mohanan said the party had not taken any decision to replace the Mayor.. “We have already made our stance clear on the issue. Rumours do not matter to the party,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Unlike Mr. Padmalochanan, Ms. Philip, a member of the Paroppady branch under the Kozhikode Town area committee, is not a seasoned politician and has not been part of active politics until she became the Mayor in 2020. Her ignorance of the ways of party politics as against Mr. Padmalochanan, a State committee member and a veteran trade unionist, may be considered while the party takes any disciplinary action.

In a similar vein, the party leadership had publicly chastised K.U. Arunan, former Irinjalakuda MLA, who had stoked a controversy by taking part in a book distribution function organised by the RSS in 2017, sources said.

Ms. Philip’s participation in a mothers’ convention on Sunday under the Balagokulam had kicked up a controversy, giving the Congress party enough ammunition to question the CPI(M)’s stand on the Mayor’s action and alleging an unholy alliance between the CPI(M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Nevertheless, Ms. Philip stood by her secular outlook stating that she took part in the programme as Mayor and the party need not be offended by her participation. In a statement later, she said she would not have taken part in the event if she had a hint that it could trigger a controversy.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2022 2:33:10 pm |