KC(M) wrests dist panchayat prez post from Cong with CPI-M

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Kuthiravelil secured 12 votes while Congress nominee Sunny Pambady could secure only eight votes in the 22-member district panchayat.

The DCC also said Kerala Congress (M) nominees who won elections held to various bodies, including assembly and Parliament, with the support of the Congress and other UDF allies have no right to continue in the respective posts. CPI and P C George's party has one single candidate each.

The bar bribery scandal involving KC (M) chairman K M Mani, the finance minister in the previous UDF regime, had been a major election plank of CPM in the last Assembly election.

The election was necessitated by the resignation of Congress member Joshy Philip from the President post following his appointment as DCC President. Philip was supposed to quit after two and a half years to make way for the Kerala Congress nominee.

According to Congress, Joshy resigned after the Congress and the Kerala Congress forged an agreement over the elections. Meanwhile, the CPI candidate Sugathan told TOI that he had just followed the party stand by abstaining from voting and did not get any directions from the leadership. "We have been fighting against the corruption and political opportunism of Kerala Congress (M) party". However, the KC (M) broke the agreement in the last minute and chose to contest alone in the election by parting ways with the Congress. However, the Kerala Congress (M) leaders denied this saying it was only the minutes of the meeting and not an agreement. Moreover, Congress had decided on the change of guard at this juncture only after receiving assurance from senior KC (M) leadership of their support in electing a new president, Congress leaders point out. "Even before the ink of a decent agreement made dried out it was torn apart", said Radhakrishnan. "I have no role in it, my party MP Jose K Mani or party MLAs have no role in the decision taken by the local leadership of the party", Mani said. Another Congress leader K C Joseph said that Mani should have memories.