Six women councillors of Kerala have sought the ouster of Mayor Soumini Jain as they shared their disregard in a media interaction recently. They didn't just attack Jain's overextension in the position of Mayor beyond the initial 2.5 years promised, they also questioned the Congress party leadership. Councillors V.K. Minimol, R. Shameena, Malini Biju, Shakritha Sureshbabu, Gracy Babu Jacob, and Delina Pinheiro released a joint statement stating their dissatisfaction with the functioning of Kochi Corporation.
“The party leadership had decided all the positions in the Kochi Corporation and we unanimously accepted it. We were forced into this move (public statement) following misleading media reports to the effect that only the Mayor was to be replaced,” the statement said. They expressed their desire that a new governance committee must be set-up by not just ousting the current mayor but all the standing committee chairpersons altogether.
According to the initial agreement recorded in the minutes of the parliamentary party meeting Jain had to quit from her position as a Mayor half-way through her term that to in two and a half years. However, it couldn't happen because, first, she requested to continue as Mayor until the marriage of her daughter. After this, the Chengannur by-election, deluge and the Parliament election kept her from budging from her position.
“Still, the decision is not being executed. Now, we will be lodging a complaint with the KPCC chief in this regard,” Minimol said.
“Despite the prevailing circumstances, we complied with the party leadership’s direction and defeated the Opposition’s no-trust motion,” the statement said. The councillors who held the press conference belonged to both ‘A’ and ‘I’ factions of the Congress.
When the issue came up before the KPCC and its political affairs committee last week, senior leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy stressed on the replacement of the mayor and others as per the initial agreement.
However, the Kochi Corporation is finally preparing itself to change leadership. “When the issue came up before the KPCC and its political affairs committee last week, senior leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy stressed on the replacement of the mayor and others as per the initial agreement. According to him, the mayor alone could not be accused of the issues related to waterlogging in the city. Following this, the party entrusted KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran with taking a call on revamping the entire administration council,” said a top leader with Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), The New Indian Express.
The press meet held by the women councillors happened after a DCC meeting in which when questioned about this issue, DCC president and former deputy mayor T J Vinod said, “I am not commenting on the issue as it has been sent to the consideration of KPCC president.”
Picture credit: Deccan Chronicle