KERALA

Corporation in for yet another round of power-sharing

KOCHI DEC. 7. The Kochi Corporation is to witness another round of power-sharing at the level of Deputy Mayor and various Standing Committee chairpersons.

The move comes in the wake of the Deputy Mayor, A. V. George, nearing the completion of the two-month term that was given to him after being re-elected as a Corporation councillor.

It may be recalled that Mr. George had to step down after the Supreme Court delivered a verdict, holding his election invalid.

After being re-elected, Mr. George, had successfully bargained with the CPI(M) district leadership for getting a two month term as the Deputy Mayor. The two-month term ended on December 7.

Discussions are on at different levels of the CPI(M) for finding a successor to Mr. George, as the party had decided to get back the seat from the LDF constituents and various power centres within the party are lobbying for the seat.

It is also expected that the much-awaited reshuffling of various Standing Committee chairpersons would be taken up along with the change of guard in the number two position in the Corporation.

Though the ruling front had earlier reached a consensus for replacing all its standing committee chairpersons after they complete two-and-a-half years in the office, it was yet to materialise. Currently, the LDF controls five standing committees — Finance, Town Planning, Tax Appeal, Welfare and Health, and the UDF three.

Of the five committees controlled by the LDF, the CPI(M) nominees control all except the Welfare Standing Committee.

It is expected that the other LDF partners like the NCP and the CPI may get one standing committee each during the reshuffle.

The UDF is unlikely to change its standing committee chairpersons. The Development Standing Committee chairman, C. K. Gopalan, will continue, said the UDF council party leader A. B. Sabu.

The `I' faction of the Congress is also in no mood to force K. M. Hamsakunju, who recently joined its fold from Indian Union Muslim League, out of the office.

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