DCC issues show cause notice to two councillors; BJP member too votes for LDF candidate
In a major embarrassment to the ruling UDF in the Kochi Corporation Council, the LDF councillor, Biju Thottali, was elected to the Finance Standing Committee of the corporation by one vote after two Congress councillors cross-voted for him.
With the election, the UDF lost the upper hand in the 10-member committee that decides on the financial affairs of the local body. Now, both fronts have five members each in the committee. It will not be an easy task for the UDF to push its agenda in the committee as the LDF, with its strength, could upset its plans.
The BJP councillor, Sudha Dileep, too reportedly voted for the LDF candidate.
The membership of the committee fell vacant following the death of Congress councillor M. Premachandran. Later in the bypoll, Mr. Thottali was elected from the division and was supposed to succeed Mr. Premachandran. Apprehending that it may lose the upper hand in the committee, the UDF made Hema Prahladan resign from the Education Standing Committee so that she could contest the election to the Finance Committee. Given the majority of the UDF in the council, the UDF nominee would have got through.
The corporation councillors elect the members of the seven standing committees.
Recently, the UDF lost the Health Standing Committee as it lost the majority in the committee. Prathibha Ansari was elected as the chairperson in place of V. K. Minimol of the UDF.
DCC president T. J. Vinod issued show cause notices to the Congress councillors P.G. Radhakrishnan and P.M. Naseema following the embarrassing development.
The new developments have weakened the position of the UDF in the corporation, the only municipal corporation controlled by the front in the State.
LDF seeks Mayor’s exit
Buoyed by the victory of its nominee in the committee, the LDF has demanded the resignation of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor as the “UDF lost the majority in the Finance Committee.”
With the election, the strength of the LDF has gone up to five and the UDF has been reduced to four members in the committee, said a statement issued by V. P. Chandran, the leader of the LDF in the council.
Dismissing the LDF position, Mr. Vinod said the UDF and the LDF had five members each in the committee and the Deputy Mayor could use the option of casting vote, if required, for passing any agenda.
Mr. Vinod alleged that the BJP and the LDF had entered into an unholy alliance for the election. Till now, the BJP members used to either stay away from the internal elections in the council or maintain independence. However, this time, the BJP and the LDF had joined hands to get the LDF nominee elected, he alleged.
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