As efforts are on to resolve the strained relationship between Congress leader K. Sudhakaran and his close confidant-turned-rebel P.K. Ragesh, who is now the Deputy Mayor of the Kannur Corporation, the precarious balance of power in the civic body is now under the spotlight.
The 55-member Corporation in which the LDF and the UDF has 27 members each is ruled by the LDF after Mr. Ragesh, who had contested from the Panjikkeel ward here as rebel, lent his support to the LDF, thus paving the way for his election as Deputy Mayor.
His dissidence against the Congress leadership here, especially his former mentor Mr. Sudhakaran, cost the UDF dearly when E.P. Latha of the CPI(M) had been elected Mayor and C. Sameer of the Indian Union Muslim League, who was earlier elected Deputy Mayor in a draw of lots, had stepped down following an LDF-sponsored no-confidence motion.
The balance that has remained tilted towards the LDF ever since Mr. Ragesh aligned with the LDF is now being keenly watched following his meeting with Mr. Sudhakaran in a reconciliation initiative.
Mr. Ragesh, who had ended his ties with Mr. Sudhakaran, had contested as an Independent to the Corporation council in protest against the Congress district leadership’s stand on the disbanding of the director board of a local cooperative bank.
Mr. Ragesh won the election and emerged as a pivotal member in an equally poised council.
Though Mr. Ragesh has stated on record that no discussion on change of power in the council was made during his talks with Mr. Sudhakaran, the LDF and the UDF circles are closely watching the potential moves of the Deputy Mayor that might swing the balance of power in favour of the UDF.
The reconciliation efforts gathered momentum following Mr. Ragesh’s announcement of support to Mr. Sudhakaran as the UDF candidate in the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency.
Mr. Ragesh had been expelled from the Congress before the Assembly election as conciliatory efforts to bring him back to the Congress failed.