No-trust motion against civic chief passed

Staff Reporter

Kerala Congress(J) member supports motion moved by UDF

Kerala Congress (Joseph) member says he is still with the LDF

LDF members keep away from session

KOTTAYAM: The no-confidence motion served by the United Democratic Front (UDF) against its ‘rebel’ president in Kottayam district panchayat on Monday was passed with the support of a lone vote from the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

While the LDF contingent, barring Kerala Congress (J) member Biju Kaiparedan, kept away from Monday’s proceedings, the rebel president Thomas Kunnappally (KC-M) was also absent.

In a council of 23 members, all the 12 members who were present during the voting supported the motion.

Mr. Kaiparedan later told mediapersons that he was still with the LDF and would abide by the directives of the coalition.

He said his opposition was only towards Mr. Kunnappally.

The district panchayat had already witnessed three changes at the helm so far. It had gone the UDF way in the last local body elections.

In the byelection to the Kangazha division, the LDF representative wrested control of the division.

However, after one year, the political equilibrium changed in favour of the UDF.

As per an earlier understanding in the UDF, the presidentship was to be held by the Kerala Congress (M) till December 2008. However, it is learnt that the Kerala Congress (M) may now skip the next two months and give the Congress an early innings at the helm.

Discussions begun

Meanwhile, the Congress has begun discussions for a presidential candidate. Though the party has not made any official announcement so far, Radha V. Nair, member from the Pampady division, appears to be the front-runner.

She has the backing of the Nair Service Society and the UDF may be not refuse her the post, especially in an election year.

While Mr. Kaiparedan has expressed his commitment to the LDF in future, his crossing the floor at the crucial moment has brought out the chinks in the LDF armour in the district panchayat.

In fact, his decision to disobey the LDF decision to keep away from voting appears to be direct fallout of the ongoing tussle in the Kerala Congress (J).

Mr. Kaiparedan is a close associate of P.C. Thomas and was earlier with him in the Indian Federal Democratic Party (IFDP) before it was dissolved. The Kerala Congress (Joseph) has one more member in the panchayat, but he chose to obey the LDF directive.

Monday’s development may also have its ripple effects in the Kerala Congress (J).One of the allegations raised by Mr. Thomas was that Mr. Joseph was trying to forge an alliance with the UDF.

The move on the part of the P.C. Thomas loyalist to side with the UDF may help the official faction within Kerela Congress (J) to put at rest all suspicions about their loyalty to the Left.

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