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Civic chief seeks expulsion of councillors from party

By Our Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA, SEPT. 14. The Pathanamthitta municipal chairperson, Ajeeba M. Sahib, has demanded the expulsion of the Congress councillors, P. Mohanraj and A. Shamsuddin, from the Congress for indulging in `anti-party activities'.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mrs. Sahib, a former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) joint secretary, alleged that the two councillors had been working in tandem with the Left Democratic Front (LDF), causing hurdles to the various development projects launched by the United Democratic Front-ruled civic body since it assumed power four years ago.

Mrs. Sahib alleged that Mr. Mohanraj, who is also the District Congress Committee (DCC) vice-president, and Mr. Shamsuddin, DCC secretary, were hand-in-glove with the LDF when certain crucial issues came up for discussion before the council.

Mrs. Sahib said she had already sent a memorandum to the KPCC president, Thennala Balakrishna Pillai, the KPCC general secretary in charge of Pathanamthitta, Mullappally Ramachandran, and the Congress general secretary in charge of the State, Ahmed Patel, apprising them of the situation.

Land deal

Mrs. Sahib alleged that certain Congress councillors were behind the controversy over eight cents of land near the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus stand. The acquisition of the disputed land was done during the tenure of the previous council chaired by Mr. Mohanraj and the controversy was aimed at `maligning' her. The chairperson said she was ready to face any kind of inquiry, including a Vigilance probe, into the land deal or any other charges levelled by the Opposition. However, a Vigilance inquiry should also be initiated into the `corrupt' practices of the civic body from 1989 onwards.

Mrs. Sahib said she had written a letter to the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, seeking a Vigilance inquiry into the corruption charges against the civic body since 1989.

She said that some UDF councillors had approached her seeking `release' of 36 cents of land acquired by the municipality near the KSRTC bus stand from a private party, which she rejected outright. These UDF councillors have been levelling `baseless' corruption charges against her for not `towing their line'.

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