KERALA

Three `I' group members relinquishes posts in corporation council

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Factional rivalry in the Congress had its echo in the city corporation council on Saturday when three `I' group members, including the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) floor leader, K. Maheswaran Nair, announced their resignations from the parliamentary party leadership.

At a press conference, Mr. Nair said the parliamentary party joint secretary, V.G. Latha, and treasurer, S. Lekha, were the other leaders who had stepped down from their posts. They had submitted their resignation letters to the Mayor and the Corporation Secretary, he added.

The Mayor's office, however, said it had received only one letter from Mr. Nair.

Mr. Nair said seven `I' group councillors also handed over their resignation letters to the faction leader K. Karunakaran. They included Mr. Nair, Ms. Latha, Ms. Lekha, Thampanoor Satheesh, K.S. Vinu, Krishnan Potti and R. Madhavan Nair.

Mr. Nair said the decision was dictated by the ouster of the faction leader K. Muraleedharan from the Congress and the shoddy treatment meted out to Mr. Karunakaran by the party leadership. He alleged that the State Government had ignored the UDF council party under his leadership. The `I' group also claimed that the Congress members D. Sudarsan, Chandrika Radhakrishnan and Rekha Rani had expressed their willingness to step down. But when contacted, the three denied that they had offered to quit.

`A drama'

Terming the resignations a drama, the UDF parliamentary party secretary, K. Harikumar, dared the three `I' group leaders to hand in their resignations to the District Congress Committee president and the UDF district committee. The seven councillors should have submitted their papers to the Mayor if they were serious about stepping down, he added.

The fault-lines within the Congress threaten to weaken the Opposition ranks in the 81-member Corporation Council. Of the 23 seats held by the UDF, the Congress has 20, the CMP two and the Kerala Congress (Jacob) one. While the ruling Left Democratic Front has 51 members, the BJP has four and the PDP two. The Vanchiyoor ward is represented by an independent.

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